The Ministry of Coal in a press release on Oct 10 assured the country that ample coal is available in the country to meet the demand for power plants. 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,” said the press release. In an interaction with ANI, Central Coalfield Limited(CCL) CEO Chairman and Managing Director, PM Prasad said that the Coal India stock will last for a minimum of 20 days.
The press release by the Ministry of Coal also stated that the heavy monsoon this year disrupted the supply of coal for domestic-based power plants from mines. It also read that the coal supply, with the receding monsoon, has been picking pace and by the end of October will rise to hit the mark of 16 lakh tonnes per day from the present 15 lakh tonnes per day capacity. The press release also said that due to high international prices of coal, the supply of power even under PPAs by import-based power plants has taken a dip by almost 30 per cent. The domestic-based power supply fills this gap and the supply has risen 24% this year. The difference is said to diminish with the rising level of coal supply that has been hampered by the monsoon season so far. Many experts believe that it was an oversight on part of power providers that failed to correctly anticipate the increase in energy demands due to the revival of economic activities after the slump caused by the pandemic.
Union Power Minister RK Singh has slammed political parties and leaders including Congress and Arvind Kejriwal for trying to create panic out of the issue.