No supply of coal was ever stopped to any state despite huge dues, sources added affirming that the Centre was fulfilling all demands required by the states.
Amid concerns of coal shortage, the government is expected to augment the per-day production of coal from 1.94 million tonnes to 2 million tonnes in the next 5 days. On Wednesday, government sources confirmed to ANI that presently, there is no shortage in daily power and coal supply in the country. No supply of coal was ever stopped to any state despite huge dues, they added affirming that the Centre was fulfilling all demands required by the states.
With several states reporting a power shortage, the government sources have revealed that the situation will be normal within a month. The crisis has largely been caused due to the inundation of domestic coal mines after the monsoon season and a spike in its global prices. “Coal stocks have started increasing in the last four days,” it said.
Sources also revealed that Power Ministry has written to all State electricity departments over coal shortage asking them to keep enough stocks of coal. The Power Ministry also explained to the states that since international prices of coal have increased, the demand for coal got diverted to Coal India.
Centre is fulfilling all the demands required by the States. Coal stocks have started increasing in the last four days. The situation will be normal within month. There is no shortage in daily power and coal supply: Government sources
States not picking up coal stocks: Govt sources
The sources also clarified that apart from the inundation of coal mines and the rise in international rates, another cause of the current situation was that states were not mining enough coal. In addition, sources alleged that the states were not picking up coal stocks from Coal India Ltd (CIL) despite repeated reminders. “States have to pay nearly Rs 20,000 crores as dues to Coal India,” government sources disclosed.
Rajasthan owes approximately Rs 278 crores, while Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu owe Rs 2600 crore and Rs 1100 crore respectively. States like West Bengal, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka also owe Rs 2000 crores, Rs 1200 crore, Rs 1000 crore, and Rs 23 crore respectively.
“Coal Ministry has been writing to States to pick up stocks from Coal India since January but received no response. Coal India can stock only up to a limit as overstocking can cause coal fire. Jharkhand, Rajasthan, and West Bengal have their coal mines but there was little or no mining. States like Delhi and Punjab had shut main coal plants,” they said.
“When international coal prices were low, states and electricity companies were buying coal from abroad. Now when its prices are high, they are looking for domestic coal,” Government sources added.”
States are not mining enough and are not picking up stocks from Coal India despite reminders, also contributed to the current situation. States like Delhi and Punjab had shut main coal plants: Government Sources
A Core Management Team (CMT) has been initiated by the Ministry of Power and Central Government for managing the coal storage and its distribution. Coal shortage at power plants has led to blackouts in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Kerala.