Coal shortage: power crisis looms large in state

Rock bottom: Chief Minister Kumaraswamy has sought the Ministry of Coal to ensure adequate coal supply to Karnataka at the earliest. DH File Photo

With the Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS) reeling under acute coal shortage yet again, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has written to the Centre raising concerns over a power crisis in the state.

Citing that there is zero coal stock in the RTPS, Kumaraswamy has sought the Ministry of Coal to ensure adequate coal supply to Karnataka at the earliest.

In a letter to Union Coal Minister Piyush Goyal, Kumaraswamy has cited that the Western Coal Fields (WCF) -- a subsidiary of Coal India Limited (CIL) has short supplied about 6 lakh MT of coal this year against the Fuel Supply Agreement (FSA) quantity. This has resulted in zero coal stock in the RTPS.

Kumaraswamy has urged the Ministry of Coal to make good the deficit by supplying coal from Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) for sustainable power generation in Karnataka.

Ravi Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary, Energy, told DH that the RTPS was in a “critical” situation and that it might have to be shutdown, if the situation does not improve.

“Presently, there is only 2,924 MT of coal available in the RTPS as against the requirement of 23,000 MT per day. The RTPS is in a critical situation. We have already shutdown three out of eight units. The situation is not all that rosy. The Chief Secretary too has written to the Centre to ramp up supplies from the MCL. The WCL has not even met 50% of our requirement. Though we are getting coal from Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) and the MCL, it is not sufficient to run the RTPS in its full capacity,” he said.

Kumar however ruled out any load shedding at this juncture. “There will be no load shedding for now. We are playing around with whatever coal and water (hydel power) we have. But if the situation continues, then power supply is also likely to be hit,” he added.

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Coal shortage: power crisis looms large in state

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