NEW DELHI: With coal shortage affecting power generation in the country, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday said the government is doing everything from expediting clearances to power projects, reforms in power sector and policy changes to ensure power for all. The minister said the coal-based electricity generation grew by a record 21 per cent compared to last year in last 100 days of NDA regime.
Playing down report of coal shortage, Goyal said the coal shortage at power stations was due to stocks being consumed faster for higher electricity generation.
“I cannot increase coal production in 100 days. The fact the coal production has not increased is really that I have inherited but using the available resources we have increased electricity supply by 22 per cent which is only coal based,” Goyal told reporters while talking about achievements of his ministry in last 100 days.
The minister assured that NDA government is committed to ensure affordable 24x7 power for all homes, industrial and commercial establishments and adequate power for farms, within five years and listed out a series of step taken to enhance the coal output in the country. He said the government is working on a framework for bringing a stronger regulator as the Coal Regulatory Authority proposed earlier was a toothless and non-statutory body.
The data released by the coal ministry shows that 56 thermal power plants in the country have less than seven days of coal stocks, including 27 where supplies would last under four days. These levels are even lower than 2012, when northern India faced worst blackout due to power shortage.
On the Supreme Court order turning allocation of all coal blocks since 1993 as illegal and arbitrary, Goyal said the ministry will take quick action to enhance the coal output following the apex court’s decision.
On the power front
Coal India to spend Rs 5,000 crore to purchase 250 rail rakes for faster evacuation of dry fuel
Taskforce for greater surveillance and to check pilferage of coalfields to be formed
Govt invested Rs 7,000 crore in state power grid security
27 power plants have coal stocks of less than four days as on Sept 4
Steps being taken to resolve 24,148 MW stranded gas-based capacity