Mumbai: After a total blackout was observed in the Mediterranean nation Lebanon, a similar condition is occurring in India and China. Several states and Chief Ministers in India have warned of complete or temporary blackouts in many cities and rural areas because of the shortage of coal in country. Amid the report of the coal crisis in India, Union Home Minister Amit Shah met high-ranking cabinet and Union ministers on Monday to discuss the issue.
Union Power Minister RK Singh and Coal Minister Pralhad along with the top officials from the Power Ministry, Coal Ministry, and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) were present in the meeting held at the Ministry of Home Affairs in the North Block.
The ministry and the center have, however, assured that there is no such shortage of coal and there is ample coal available in the country to meet demands for power plants through which electricity can be generated.
In an official release, the Ministry said any fear of disruption in the power supply is entirely misplaced. "The coal stock at power plant end is about 72 lakh tonnes, sufficient for 4 days requirement, and that the Coal India Limited (CIL) end is more than 400 lakh tonnes, which is being supplied to the power plants," the ministry said. Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also expressed concern saying that said many state chief ministers have written to the Center about the critical situation at power plants due to a coal shortage. "The situation is critical and many CMs have written about it to the Central government. We all are working together to improve the situation," he said.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also flagged the issue of probable coal shortage. While describing the situation as bogus, Union Minister for Power RK Singh said, "A panic situation has been unnecessarily created and this is due to miscommunication from GAIL and Tata."
Notably, the shortage of coal has resulted in a drop in generating power in Rajasthan because of which the state has announced a 2-6 hours power cut in villages of the state, while the remote villages are facing up to 12 hours power cut.
Several states, including Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Tamil Nadu, have raised concerns over blackouts. The shortage in India, the world's second-largest coal-consuming country, follows widespread power outages in China that have shut factories and hit production and global supply chains.
Coal accounts for nearly 70 percent of India's electricity generation and around three-quarters of the fossil fuel is mined domestically.
(with inputs from sources)