Amit Shah meets cabinet colleagues over coal shortage, power outage concerns
New Delhi/IBNS: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday met his cabinet colleagues in charge of the coal and power ministries amid concerns of an electricity shortage in many parts of the country due to inadequate supplies of coal.
During an hour-long meeting, the three ministers have reportedly discussed the availability of coal to power plants and the current power demands.
The meeting was attended by senior bureaucrats as well as officials from the state-run energy conglomerate NTPC Limited.
The Coal Ministry earlier assured any fear of disruption in power supply is entirely misplaced.
The Ministry of Coal and Coal India had assured too that there is ample coal available in the country to meet the demand of power plants.
Several states have warned of blackouts even after the central government's assurance.
Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had sought "personal intervention" from Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a power crisis looms over the national capital.
Kejriwal on Saturday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Modi and requested the latter's office for diversion of adequate coal and gas to power plants supplying electricity to Delhi.
"Delhi could face a power crisis. I am personally keeping a close watch over the situation. We are trying our best to avoid it. In the meanwhile, I wrote a letter to Hon’ble PM seeking his personal intervention," he had posted on Twitter.
Even on Monday, Kejriwal said the power situation is "very critical" in the entire country.
"The situation is very critical in the entire country. Several chief ministers have written to the Centre about it. All are trying together to improve the situation," he told the media on Monday.
The Coal Minister had assured that distribution companies of Delhi will get as much power as requisitioned by them as per their demand.
The increasing shortage in coal supplies can lead to a power crisis as more than half of India's coal-fired power plants are on alert for outages, according to reports.
An average of four days' worth of stock of the fuel was reported at the end of last month which is the lowest in several years and down from 13 days at the start of August, reported Bloomberg.
According to the report, spot power rates have increased and coal supplies are being diverted away from customers including aluminum smelters and steel mills, who use the fuel intensively in their operations.
India's 70 percent of electricity is produced using coal and meets three fourth of its requirement locally.
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