Coal Shortage & Power Outages Likely To Worsen: Power Ministry Report
The projected annual coal shortage is now 49.3 million tonnes, nearly three times what was projected earlier.
India is likely to witness more power shortages come September as a worsening dearth of coal supply and higher power demand are expected, news organisation Reuters reported, based on an internal power ministry presentation.
This comes at a time when India is seeing sky-rocketing electricity consumption due to the unprecedented levels of heat in April-May. Several parts of the country, especially in north India, have been rocked by heatwaves, with the scorching sun making many tasks more arduous than usual. The power shortage has only added to the grief.
While there has been some respite in some states momentarily due to the rain spell, the heat is expected to be back in full swing.
As per the report, the local coal supply is expected to be 154.7 million tonnes in the September quarter, which is 42.5 million tonnes short of the projected requirement of 197.3 million tonnes.
The projected annual coal shortage is now 49.3 million tonnes, nearly three times what was projected earlier, the presentation showed.
The power ministry presentation, which was made on Friday, 27 May, also showed that most of the states in the country were yet to award contracts to import coal. If no coal is imported soon, Indian utilities would run out of coal by July, it further showed.
Top officials from the Union Coal and Power Ministry were present at this meeting. As coal inventories continue to deplete, and power demand keeps rising, the situation is looking grim and the ministry is urgently trying to find a fix in the form of increased imports.
(With inputs from Reuters.)
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