New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Various states continued to grapple with power shortages on Friday amid soaring mercury pushing the demand higher while opposition parties blamed the Centre for coal shortages at thermal plants. As the heatwave continued to intensify, the country's peak power demand met touched an all-time high of 207.11 GW on Friday while the railways cancelled 42 passenger trains to facilitate coal freight movement, with South East Central Railway (SECR) division that covers the coal-producing regions cancelling 34 trains.

The latest data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) showed that coal stocks at 147 non-pit head plants monitored by it were 24 per cent of the normative level on April 27 and 28. It was 25 per cent of the normative level on April 26. Non-pithead plants are situated hundreds of kilometres away from thermal power plants and maintaining required coal stocks for those is essential for power generation.

The all India peak power demand met or highest supply in a day touched 207.11 GW on Friday, an all-time high. The same was at 204.65 GW and peak deficit at 10.77 GW on Thursday. The peak deficit figure for Friday was not immediately available. Peak deficit has been increasing this week. It was at 5.24GW on Monday, 8.22GW on Tuesday and 10.29GW on Wednesday.

Opposition attacks Centre over coal shortage:

Aam Adami Party and Congress leaders held the Centre responsible for the ongoing power crisis and alleged that logistical support was not being provided for coal distribution to power plants.

The Delhi government flagged an "acute shortage" of coal, claiming that many power plants are left with only one day stock and warned of supply disruptions to the national capital, even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the situation was being handled somehow.

NTPC in reply to the Delhi government's claims of a shortage of coal at its plants said in a tweet that currently Unchahar and Dadri power stations, supplying power to the national capital, are running at full capacity and receiving "regular" coal supplies.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said it was the job of the Centre to provide coal to the states. "Will the directionless state BJP leadership ask the Centre why is it not able to provide coal in accordance with the demand, due to which there has been a crisis in 16 states?" he asked.

Kerala Electricity Minister K Krishnankutty said the nationwide shortage of coal was the reason for the present crisis. The All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) claimed that a lack of coordination amongst ministries of coal, railways and power is responsible for coal shortage which has caused power outages.

BJP-ruled Haryana's Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar called on Union Power Minister R K Singh and discussed measures required for the uninterrupted supply of electricity in the state.

Punjab denies coal shortage:

People in Punjab have also faced power cuts due to a drop in power generation. However, a senior official in the power department has denied any coal shortage in the state and said that the power cuts were the result of some technical faults in two of their thermal power plants.

"No shortage of coal. Demand for electricity increased by 30-40 per cent due to extreme heat in summer. Power cuts were result of some technical issues in our 2 thermal plants, supply of 800MW was impacted", Deputy chief engineer Sanjeev Prabhakar said, as quoted by ANI.

CIL increases coal production by 27.2 pc in April:

As several states report power outages amid the coal crisis, Coal India Limited has reported an increase of 27.2 per cent in its output in April 2022, as compared to the year-ago period, the Ministry of Coal on Friday. The despatch of coal also improved by 5.8 per cent year-on-year in April 2022.

"Coal production by Coal India Ltd (CIL) has increased by 27.2 per cent in April 2022 as compared to the same period of last year and coal despatch has increased by 5.8 per cent," the Ministry said in a statement. The ministry further informed that the CIL has a coal stock of 56.7 MT at present, while the stock at Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) is at 4.3 MT, and the captive coal blocks have about 2.3 MT of stock.


(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan