New Delhi: In the midst of frantic messages in social media and letters from the likes of Punjab and Delhi Chief Ministers about coal shortage and possibilities of power crisis in northern India including the national capital, the centre said on Sunday that the country is four days ahead of the average requirement of coal per day and an “unnecessary panic” was being created.
"The Congress party has run out of ideas. We have adequate power supply. In effect, neither there was not there is any crisis," Union Power Minister R K Singh said.
Addressing a press conference, he said that he already chaired a meeting with BSES officials, the NTPC and power ministry earlier in the day and asserted that there would be 'no problem' related to supply and demand channels. .
“Yesterday evening, LG Delhi (Anil Baijal) spoke to me about a letter written by the Delhi Chief Minister (Arvind Kejriwal) regarding possible power supply disruption. I communicated to him that our officials are monitoring the situation and no such issue would arise,” the minister said.
Mr Singh, a former IAS and who also served as Union Home Secretary, said that the panic over possible power shortage started because the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) sent a message to Delhi discoms about stopping gas supply because their contract is ending.
“I have asked the GAIL CMD to continue supplying the required amount of gas to power stations across the country. He has assured me that the supplies will continue," he said adding, neither was there any shortage of gas in the past, "nor will it happen in the future".
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has said that the state was not getting adequate coal supply despite agreements with various subsidiaries of the Coal India Ltd.
Mr Channi, however, said power cuts on domestic consumers in cities and villages are being imposed to ensure sufficient supply to the agriculture sector as well as to maintain grid discipline.
Delhi Chief Minister Kejrwal was not behind playing his games and tweeted: "Delhi could face a power crisis". He also shared a copy of a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagging a 'shortage' of fuel in power plants.
The Union Power Minister said Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) should be maintained. There should be no shortage of power supply, he said. "I have also warned Tata power over the alleged message sent to consumers regarding a possible disruption of power,” the power minister said.
The Union Power ministry has said that there are there are four reasons for the 'depletion of coal stocks' at the power plant end- unprecedented increase in demand for electricity due to the revival of the economy; heavy rains in coal mine areas during September 2021 adversely affecting the coal production.
There were issues with regard to despatch of coal from mines and also increase in prices of imported coal to unprecedented high levels leading to a substantial reduction in power generation.