The Haryana government is confident that there will be no problem in providing continued electricity supply to all categories of consumers in the coming days amid an unprecedented fuel shortage at the country’s coal fired stations.
Additional Chief Secretary, Haryana, P K Das, who is also chairman of power utilities in the state, told The Indian Express: “We are meeting the demand without any power cuts to any consumer category.
Currently, the average demand is 16-18 crore electricity units daily in the state and we have been successfully meeting this demand. We don’t foresee any problem or imposition of any cuts. We also anticipate improvement in the supply of coal from various coal companies next week.”
In June and July, Das said, Haryana power utilities had supplied nearly 24 crore units of electricity per day against the current demand of 16-18 crore units daily. He insisted: “We would not have operationalised all of our power plants even if we had sufficient quantity of coal because we run the plants keeping in view the demand of electricity.”
The senior IAS officer added: “Currently, we have coal for our power plants for the next 4-5 days. We have been witnessing this scenario for the past over a month. In July, we had coal storage for nearly 25 days. In August, the supply of coal to Haryana started reducing. We started consuming from our stock leaving storage for only for five days. Currently, nearly 25,000 tonnes of coal is being used in the power plant units of Haryana Power Generation Corporation. And nearly the same quantity is being supplied to the state these days. We have a requirement of more supply of coal than the consumption to return to the previous situation when we had coal storage for 25 days.”
Explaining the reasons for the current coal crisis, Das said: “Every year in August and September, there is a situation of floods in those states which have coal mines. It reduces the movement of coal to other parts of the country. Normally, a thermal plant is asked to keep storage of coal for one month. But these days, the availability of coal at plant level has reduced to 4-5 days in nearly all the states. Haryana has been witnessing this scenario since the beginning of September. But we are getting as much coal as we need these days. That’s why we are capable of meeting the demand of power supply. Now, the situation has improved in those states which had faced floods. So, there will be improvement in the availability of coal and its movement. In the next few weeks, the supply of coal will improve further. Haryana and other states will get more coal supply in the coming days.”
However, the officer insisted that “neither have we closed any of our plants because of the shortage of coal nor have we imposed power cuts on any of the consumer categories”.
He explained: “During this period, we undertake the work of annual maintenance by shutting the plants. Two of our plants — one in Yamunanagar and second in Hisar district — are shut because of technical problems. The repair work is going on there and the same will be operationalised in the next ten days.”
He also said that foreign coal is not being used in any of the power plants in Haryana. “However, as much as 25 per cent foreign coal is used in a plant with which we have power purchase agreement.
Currently, we are not taking power from this plant because of less demand for electricity in Haryana,” he added.