New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: As India’s power plants grapple with coal shortages just ahead of the festive season raising concerns over the power crisis in the country, Union Minister of Coal and Mines, Pralhad Joshi on Tuesday said that the Coal Ministry and Coal India are making every effort to fulfil the domestic needs. He said that the country on Monday supplied 1.94 million tonnes of coal in the domestic market which is a record in domestic supplies.

Admitting that the country is having a coal deficit, Joshi said that incessant rains in coal manufacturing areas led to a significant rise of coal prices in the international from Rs 60 per ton to Rs 190 per ton burdening the power plants dependent on imported coal supply. The shortage led to the closure of these power plants for 15-20 days or a massive reduction in their production.

"Yesterday 1.95 million tonnes of coal was supplied which is a record till date. We will continue to increase the supply of coal at a fast pace. We are hopeful that after the end of monsoon, the supply of coal will improve rapidly”, Pralhad Joshi as quoted by news agency ANI said.

"After October 21, we will try to supply upto 2 million tonnes of coal. We want to assure the whole country that coal will be made available as per the requirement," the minister who met Amit Shah yesterday over the issue added further.   

“Due to rains, there was coal shortage, causing an increase in international prices- from Rs 60 per ton to Rs 190 per ton. Subsequently, imported coal power plants are either shut for 15-20 days or producing very less. This put pressure on domestic coal”, he said.

Joshi also alleged that when the Centre asked the States to increase the stock of coal they told the government to stop supplying them coal. "We have continued our supply, even continued in the past despite dues. We are requesting them (states) to increase stock...There won't be a coal shortage," he assured.

Earlier on Monday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a high-level meeting with Power Minister RK Singh, Coal Minister Prahlad Joshi along top officials of both the ministries in the North Block. The meeting also saw the presence of top officials of National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC).

The high-level meeting was convened a day after the Union Power Minister assured that the supply stock of coal to power plants has exceeded consumption, adding that it will help in improving the fuel stock position gradually.

Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi had earlier denied allegations of power failure due to a shortage of coal. The Power Ministry asserted that the Inter-Ministerial sub-group has been monitoring the status of coal reserves twice a week.


(With ANI Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan