'Act against those who gave wrong info on coal stocks'

Power Minister R K Singh asks Joshi to act against officers who gave wrong info on coal stocks

Singh added that the demand is going to increase again from mid-March 2022 onwards

Union Power Minister R K Singh. Credit: IANS File Photo

Union Power Minister R K Singh has asked Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi to take action against concerned officers who gave him wrong information on coal dispatches.

In a letter to the Coal Minister dated December 9, 2021, Singh said, "Your officers who told you that they had large stocks but the Gencos were not lifting gave wrong information. If they had the stock, why did they not load the rakes? They seem to have inflated the production figures. Proceedings need to be initiated against the concerned officers.

"We have checked up from the Generation Companies (GENCOS). Contrary to what your officers have told you, none of the major GENCOS were supplied the quantum of coal which they had indented. We have the data of 22 major GENCOS for the period April - October 2021, which was the critical period. They had indented a total of 67,098 rakes out of which the coal companies endorsed to supply 55,155 rakes and the railways sanctioned 55,055 rakes but the actual coal supply from coal companies was 34,620 rakes only," Power Minister Singh said in the letter.

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Singh added that the demand is going to increase again from mid-March 2022 onwards. "Am constrained to point out that the number of rakes which were promised to be dispatched per day in the meetings with the Home Minister, Cabinet Secretary and PMO are not being dispatched."

The Power Minister added in the letter that "the coal crisis situation has been overcome for the present, and the average coal stocks at power plants have improved somewhat to 20.2 Million Tonnes (MT). However, this is only 10 days stock, whereas our revised stocking norms prescribe a reserve of 15 days at pithead and 24 days at non pithead stations.

"This is the time to take corrective action keeping in mind our past experience so as to avoid a recurrence of the crisis in future. The estimates of likely power required for the year 2021-22 and the resultant coal requirement were conveyed to the Ministry of Coal in April. These estimates were accurate," Singh said.

"We had assessed that the power generation from April to October 2021 from coal-based units shall be 649 Billion Units (BU). The actual generation was 642 BU. Accordingly, we had projected the coal requirement of 446.4 Million Tonnes (MT). The actual consumption was 439.4 MT. But the supply from coal companies was only 418.80 MT - a shortfall of 21 MT. This led to draw down in the stocks which dropped to a low of 7.24 MT on 08.10.2021," he added in the letter.

Singh said that unless the coal companies dispatch the rakes as promised, the Gencos will not be able to meet the stocking requirements, he added.

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