Blackout or long power cuts in India due to coal shortage?

Will India also face power cuts like China due to coal shortage? Here are some major reasons for energy crisis in India

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NH Web Desk

As the country is staring at a coal crisis and things are starting to look grim in the rest of the country, sources say the depletion of coal stocks at the power plant is due to the increase in demand for electricity and heavy rains in coal mines areas during September.

While several states, including Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Tamil Nadu, raised concerns over blackouts, the centre said the huge coal shortage affecting power plants will be handled in the next few days.

Here are the latest updates on the matter:

1) Many states like Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Tamil Nadu, have raised concerns over blackouts now Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, warned that the national capital "could face a blackout" in the next two days if coal supplies to power plants do not improve.

2) Punjab has already imposed rotational load shedding at several places due to the severe coal shortage at thermal power plants. Apparently the plants are left with coal stock of up to five days.

3) Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said that heavy rainfall in the country this year has also contributed to the coal shortage. However, he assures, in another three to four days, things will be alright.

4) The power ministry said the country's oil ministry will facilitate gas supplies to operate two power plants in Delhi. State-run NTPC, the country's largest electricity producer, has also been directed to increase coal stocks to two coal-fired plants near the national capital to ensure sufficient supply.

5) The Coal Ministry has assured that they are making efforts to send 1.6 metric tonnes of coal a day in the next three days and will try to reach 1.7 MT a day.

6) Chhattisgarh has said that it is making efforts to ensure that there is no shortage of supply in the state.

7) In south, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "urgent personal attention" calling the situation "quite alarming".

8) Union Power Minister RK Singh had recently dismissed media reports of coal shortage in the country and asserted that there is no coal crisis in India like China and the country is in a position to meet the increasing demand for coal.

9) The Ministry of Power has also issued guidelines for operationalising optimum utilization of generating stations as per the requirements in the electricity grid. The guidelines will enable imported coal-based plants (having sufficient coal) to operate and ease out the burden on domestic coal.

10) Notably, India is the world’s largest coal consumer after China. Due to the coal shortage, neighbouring country China had to shut down factories amid the crisis.

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