'Don't Panic, Have Enough Coal': Govt's Reassurance Amid Power Outage Concerns

"Yesterday, 1.95 million tonnes of coal was supplied which is a record till date," Coal Minister Prahlad Joshi said.

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<div class="paragraphs"><p>File photo of Union Minister Prahlad Joshi.</p></div>

Amid growing concerns over the shortage of coal and subsequent power outages, Union Minister of Coal Pralhad Joshi on Tuesday, 12 October, said that there were no threats to power supply and urged people not to panic. He said that Coal India Ltd has “22 days' stock of coal” with it.

Joshi said that Monday saw a record coal supply and added that the coal ministry is making every effort to meet the country's demand.

According to ANI, Joshi said: "Yesterday, we supplied 1.94 million tons, the highest ever supply of domestic coal."

Joshi’s remarks come amid an ongoing coal crisis in the country. He also went on to pin responsibility on some states and, as per ANI, said:

"As far as states are concerned, this year till June, we requested them to increase stock, some of them went on to say that 'please do a favour, don't send coal now.'"

"We have continued our supply, even continued in the past despite dues. We are requesting them (states) to increase stock... There won't be a coal shortage."
Prahlad Joshi

According to NDTV, Joshi also claimed that post 21 October, they will attempt to supply upto two million tonnes of coal.

The Union minister said that they want to “assure the whole country that coal will be made available as per the requirement.”

Explaining the reason for "pressure on domestic coal," Joshi was quoted by ANI as saying:

"Due to rains, there was coal shortage, causing an increase in international prices – from Rs 60 per ton to Rs 190 per ton. Subsequently, imported coal power plants are either shut for 15-20 days or producing very less."

Use Unallocated Power to Supply Consumers: Power Ministry to States

Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Power asked states to utilise unallocated power of the central generating stations (CGS) to meet the requirements of their own consumers. 

A statement from the ministry said that even as the demand from coal-based power plants has increased, it had been observed that some states are not supplying power to their consumers and imposing load-shedding in some areas.

"On the other hand, they are selling power in the power exchange at high price," a memorandum from the ministry stated.

As per the guidelines for allocation of power, 15 percent power from CGS is kept as “unallocated power,” which is allocated by the central government to needy states to meet the requirement of power of the consumers.

(With inputs from ANI and NDTV.)

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