India's coal stocks are currently abundant to meet the needs of power generation, a coal ministry statement said on October 10, but the Delhi Chief Minister warned a shortage of the fuel that would spell a large scale of blackout in the capital city.
The coal ministry said the state-owned Coal India is delivering 40 million tonnes of stocks to replenish utilities, which currently have 7.2 million tonnes in stock altogether that are available for four days of power generation.
The Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, on October 9 sought India's Prime Minister Modi for making adequate arrangements of coal and gas to avoid any crisis. The minister said in the letter to Modi that the prevailing coal shortage situation has been continuing for the third month in a row since August.
Among all utilities responsible for power supply to Delhi, one had no stockpiles left, three had only one day's worth of inventories and one for four days, Kejriwal quoted data from Central Electricity Authority on October 5.
The minister said the dependency on gas stations supplying power to Delhi increases due to a lack of coal, but gas stations don't have adequate fuel to run at full capacity. "If this situation continues unabated, it would severely impact the power supply situation in Delhi," the minister said.
The capital city's power minister, Satyendra Jain said Delhi might go through intermittent rotational load shedding.
To resolve the power crisis in Delhi, Jain said that the government is ready to buy expensive electricity at present. At the same time, he requested the power plants be running at their 100% capacity. Otherwise, Delhi may face a blackout if the supplies are not resumed at the earliest.
Coal accounts for nearly 70% of India's electricity generation and around three-quarters of the fossil fuel is mined domestically.
The current coal supply crisis lies in a fast economic rebound from the pandemic, heavy rains in coal mining areas, skyrocketing prices of imported coal, and legacy issues such as heavy dues of coal companies in certain states.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Tammy Yang)
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