Other States

Minister blames bad planning by Coal India for power crisis

Maharashtra Power Minister Nitin Raut expects some shortfall.   | Photo Credit: JOTHI RAMALINGAM B

Maharashtra may face power shortage of 3000 MW to 3500 MW in the coming days, said Energy Minister Nitin Raut. However, his department would ensure that the State does not face load shedding, he added.

“State’s demand of power will reach its peak in coming days and we anticipate that the total demand will reach up to 17,500 to 18,000 MW. At present Maharashtra has a supply of 14,000 to 15,500 MW. There will be some shortfall. The supply of coal is increasing, but it will take time. The whole problem has been created due to lack of planning by Coal India,” he said. Mr. Raut wanted to know how Gujarat and Goa, which are ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party, enjoy surplus power while other States face problems of coal shortage.

Mr. Raut pointed out that due to irregularities in monsoon in August, the demand increased.

“Coal India’s per day capacity to carry coal is 40 lakh MT which had come down to 22 lakh MT. It has now reached to 27 lakh MT. It has affected the energy production and the quality. In addition, the coal supplied by Coal India is of sub-standard quality which too has impacted power generation,” he said.

The State government plans to send legal notice to private companies like Coastal Gujarat Power Limited and JSW with whom it has a long-term power purchase contracts, he said. “Despite having import coal stored with them, these companies have not begun power generation to supply 1,000 MW for Maharashtra. An appeal will be filed with the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission,” he said.

Asked why the State had not anticipated possible shortage of coal, Mr. Raut mentioned a letter he wrote to Union Coal Minister Prahlad Joshi and Union Energy Minister R.K. Singh.

“Irrespective of coal shortage and subsequent power shortage, the government has spent over ₹250 crore to purchase electricity to ensure there is no load shedding. We have given ₹20 per unit rate, which is highest in the season,” he said.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 12:40:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/minister-blames-bad-planning-by-coal-india-for-power-crisis/article36975960.ece

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