Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain on Monday said Delhi’s electricity supply situation has “worsened”, the Hindustan Times reported.
Jain’s statement came three days after he raised concerns about an impending power crisis and after Coal India Limited said it had sent supplies to the National Thermal Power Corporation’s Dadri and Badarpur plants, from which Delhi sources electricity, to avoid an emergency.
Coal India Limited said the Aam Aadmi Party-led government could have avoided the situation with better planning. “The crisis could have been averted had Delhi government placed a proper power demand with NTPC with sufficient advance notice,” PTI had quoted a Coal India release as saying on Sunday.
A heatwave in most parts of northern India has led to an increase in power consumption. On May 25, Jain had warned of a possible “blackout” in Delhi if coal stocks were not replenished in time. “For the past 15 days, thermal power plants in Delhi-National Capital Region are operating below their capacity as wagons to transport coal to the stations are not available with the Indian Railways,” Jain had said then. “I wrote to Union railways minister Piyush Goyal on May 17, but till date no reply has come.”
On Monday, Jain said coal stocks were down to a critical level. “These power plants now have coal stocks that can run the plant to its full capacity only for 20-21 hours,” Jain told reporters. “Ideally, in a single day, these plants have 56,000 tonnes of coal and the stock lasts about 13-15 days. Now, only about 5% of it is left.”
A National Thermal Power Corporation spokesperson acknowledged the coal shortage but said that supplies were coming in. “There is not enough coal to run the plants to their full capacity,” the NTPC spokesperson told the Hindustan Times. “But the situation has been improving over the past two days.”
At least 80% of the national Capital’s power is drawn from these coal plants.