KPCL holds SOS meeting with coal firm to tide over crisis

KPCL holds SOS meeting with coal firm to tide over crisis

KPCL holds SOS meeting with coal firm to tide over crisis

With the state in the grip of a power crisis, officials from the Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL) on Thursday held an SOS meeting with Singareni Colliery Company (SCCL) officials requesting an increase in coal supply to Karnataka.

KPCL managing director G Kumar Naik told DH that the meeting was fruitful. "They (SCCL) have given us a positive response. The mining firm  pointed out that they are also under pressure as they have to meet the demand from various states like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu besides the National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd.

Another official who attended the meeting added that since Western Coal Fields (WCL) had failed to supply coal, pressure mounted on SCCL. All this has further reduced the supply to Karnataka.

"Every day, 18 trainloads of coal is being supplied to Maharashtra, but three train loads are coming to us in a week. We are not even getting 50% of what we need. Five-sixth of our requirement comes from SCCL and the remaining is from NCPL and WCL. Hence, they are important to us and we need their help," the official said.

Sources said the state government has been making several attempts to meet the Central ministry and resolve the issue. But so far nothing has materialised.

Energy Minister D K Shivakumar is planning to camp in New Delhi till the meeting with the Centre materialises.

Naik pointed out that the situation is very precarious. "We need at least eight trainloads of coal to run our units. Even if we get three trainloads of coal for two days continuously, things can improve."

He added that the company has promised to start supplies of the fourth load from Friday and the fifth in the coming week. "Assurance has also been made on the sixth load in another 10 days, but things look a bit difficult," he said.