New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Assuring that there will be no coal shortage in the country for the production of electricity, Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi on Wednesday said that the target set by the government has been achieved and the Coal Ministry has supplied 2 million tonnes of coal to the country's power plants. He also said that the supply will enhance in the coming days to meet the domestic demand.

"The coal target which was given to us by Power Ministry was 1.9 million tonnes/day and after October 20 it was 2 million tonnes/day. Today, we've supplied 2 million tonnes of coal. I can assure that there'll be no shortage of coal for electricity production," Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said.

Joshi had on Tuesday said the government is making full efforts to meet the coal demand of power producers and stressed that steps are being taken to soon ramp up the dry-fuel supply to two million tonnes per day, from the current overall dispatch of 1.95 million tonnes per day.

Key Points on India's Coal crunch:

- Since January, the Coal Ministry has been writing to various States to pick up and stock coal in their respective states but no one paid heed. Coal India can stock up to a limit, if we stock more coal than the limit there is a risk of fire.

- Rajasthan, West Bengal and Jharkhand have their own mines but they did little to extract coal. It is learnt that despite clearances, some of the state governments sat on decision and gave Covid and rains as reasons for not doing enough mining. Prolonged monsoon affected the mining and the shooting prices of imported coal also contributed to the current situation.

- There is a 12 per cent fall in imports of foreign coal which power companies blend to cut losses. Due to high prices, they also shifted to domestic coal.

- States have huge pending dues of Coal India on them. As per ANI sources, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are big defaulters. All States have dues of Rs 20,000 crore to be paid to Coal India.

- The power ministry had earlier this week warned states that power producers would curtail supplies of electricity to them if their utilities are found selling power on exchanges to take advantage of surging prices.

- If states are not serving their customers but are "selling power in the power exchanges at a higher rate, the unallocated power of such states shall be withdrawn and allocated to other needy states," the ministry said

- According to government data, the coal stock situation in thermal power stations shows that 115 of 135 centrally monitored power stations in the country are facing a "critical or super critical" shortage of coal. There are less than four days of coal in 70 power plants.

- Coal accounts for nearly 70 percent of India's electricity generation and around three-quarters is mined domestically. The crisis, on a year of record coal production, is believed to be the result of rain affecting the movement of the fuel from mines to power generation units.

- Meanwhile, the Ministry of Coal on Tuesday launched the auction process of 40 new coal mines in which 21 new mines are under the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act 2015 and 19 are under the Tranche three of Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957.

- In view of the power crisis in the state, the Uttarakhand Power Corporation Ltd (UPCL) is buying expensive electricity to normalize the supply quota as per the demand, UPCL administration informed on Wednesday. On Tuesday, 2.3 million units of electricity were purchased at the rate of 7.56 paise per unit. The UPCL administration said that there will be a demand of 41 million units of electricity on Wednesday, while only 39.3 million units of electricity will be available for supply.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan