Next two days crucial for Maharashtra as state didn't get enough coal supply: Minister

He said the state government is making efforts to avoid a situation wherein it has to impose load shedding.
Representational Image. (Photo | PTI)
Representational Image. (Photo | PTI)

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut on Wednesday cautioned the people saying that the next two days are going to be crucial for the state as it did not receive enough coal supply amid the rising electricity demand due to the heatwave.

He said the state government is making efforts to avoid a situation wherein it has to impose load shedding.

"The coal supply in the last two days has been very low, which is creating a challenge before the state power generation company to meet the growing demand for electricity. If we do not get enough coal, the state would be affected," Raut told reporters.

"We are trying to avoid load shedding by exploring possibilities to increase the coal availability. The state will procure more power from the exchange. The current procurement of power ranges between 1,500 MW to 2,500 MW per day," he said.

The data shared by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) says that its dues till January this year were Rs 64,093 crore, of which Rs 9,176 crore are from various governments alone.

The electricity distribution company has taken loan worth Rs 47,034 crore while the outstanding liability of it is Rs 20,268 crore.

When asked about buying power at higher rates could put a financial burden on the state exchequer, the minister said, "We have been buying electricity between Rs 3 to Rs 8 per unit. Last year, the state had to buy it at Rs 20 per unit. But, we will not hesitate to buy more power from the grid if the demand soars."

BJP leader and former state energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule hit out at the government and Raut saying, "The minister's excuses of shortage in coal availability are lame. It is the collective failure of the state energy ministry as it never maintained proper coordination with power generation companies." The minister's fallacy that he would manage everything is going to affect the state negatively, he alleged.

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