The Delhi government on Thursday warned that it may not be able to provide uninterrupted electricity supply for many purposes, including essential services like metro trains and hospitals, due to a shortage of coal, PTI reported.
“Due to disruption of power supply from Dadri-II and Unchahar power stations, there may be a problem in 24-hours power supply to many essential institutions, including Delhi Metro and Delhi government hospitals,” a statement from the Delhi government read.
Delhi Power Minister Satyender Jain said that these two power stations meet 25%-30% of the city’s electricity demand. He added that the government was closely monitoring the situation and is taking all possible efforts to avoid power cuts.
On Thursday, Jain held an emergency meeting on the matter, and also requested the Union government to ensure enough coal for power plants that provide electricity to the national capital.
Delhi gets most of its electricity supply – 728 megawatts per day – from the Dadri-II power station, while it gets 100 megawatts a day from the Unchahar station, according to PTI.
The national Capital, like many other parts of north India, is currently experiencing a heatwave, due to which the demand for electricity has increased. Thermal power plants in several parts of the country are finding it difficult to meet the demand due to a shortage of coal, reported The Indian Express.
Last week, the electricity deficit in India hit 623 million units, exceeding the total shortfall recorded in March, according to the newspaper.
Amid the power shortage, the Railways have cancelled some passenger trains in order to facilitate faster movement of trains carrying coal, Bloomberg reported.
The measure is temporary and the passenger trains will be restored as soon as the situation returns to normal, said Gaurav Krishna Bansal, executive director (information and publicity) at the Indian Railways.
Haryana to get electricity from other states
Meanwhile, the Haryana government has said that it will take additional electricity from states like Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh in order to meet its demand, ANI reported.
The government will tackle the situation within a week, the state’s Power Minister Ranjeet Singh said. “1200-1400 megawatts of additional power would be taken from Adani,” he said.
Singh said that a unit of a power plant has been closed because of technical reasons, but the matter will be resolved soon.
National crisis, says Rajasthan CM
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot described the power outages in the country as a “national crisis”.
In a series of tweets, Gehlot said that the demand for electricity has increased in 16 states due to rising temperature and that the coal is not being supplied in accordance with the requirement. This was leading to deficit in power supply.
The chief minister said that the state Bharatiya Janata Party unit was harassing the power department employees, who were doing such challenging work, by staging protests. He said that it was the job of the Union government to provide coal to states.
“Will the directionless leadership of the state BJP ask the central government a question as to why it is not able to provide coal according to the demand, due to which there has been a power cut in 16 states?” he asked.
On Thursday, Union Power Minister RK Singh had claimed that problems in electricity supply were occurring not due to coal shortages, but because of state governments’ pending dues with Coal India Limited, the Hindustan Times reported.
“Power shortages are primarily happening because states have not paid their dues to CIL or they have been unable to lift coal on time which has been allotted to them or because of wrong planning by them in general,” he said. “Then there are also instances wherein discoms do not buy power from the exchange and simply resort to load shedding.”
Singh said that in the month of April, 70 million units of peak power demand was not met across India. The corresponding figure in March was 14 million units, he said.