Delhi may have to face power cuts if the coal shortage in power plants continued, said the capital’s deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Sunday (October 10), even as he slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union government for being dismissive about the problem, which is very similar to the way they had approached the oxygen crisis during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in April.
Addressing a press conference, Sisodia said that they will have to enforce power cuts in Delhi if coal stocks were not replenished in 24 hours. According to the Delhi deputy CM, there is a major crisis of coal in several power plants. “The Union minister has dismissed the shortage and criticised chief minister Arvind Kejriwal writing to Prime Minister Modi regarding the matter,” Sisodia revealed to the media.
Sisodia also brought up the way the BJP government keeps running away from their responsibilities. The states had warned the Union government against an oxygen crisis back then and the Central government had dodged its responsibilities. “Now the coal shortage issue can lead to a power crisis situation,” he warned, said media reports.
A power crisis is equivalent to pushing the country into a dark pit, he added, reported The Hindustan Times. Governments in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi are seeking help from the Union government but it has so far failed in resolving the matter, he added.
The Union government was more keen to prove that the states were wrong in their assessment of power shortage. But governments operate through cooperation and we urge the Union government to be more cooperative, said Sisodia.
Meanwhile, Delhi CM Arvind Kerjriwal said on Saturday that Delhi could face power outages if the Central government does not quickly resolve the coal shortage at power plants. He had made this statement after reports appeared that over half the 135 coal-fired utilities, which supply more than half of India’s electricity, have fuel stocks that will hold out just under three days.
Kejriwal had written a letter to PM Narendra Modi that a supply disruption could affect hospitals, cold chains for COVID-19 vaccines and COVID Care Centres. One of the five coal-fired thermal power plants that supply Delhi about 1,971MW electricity every day has completely run out of stock. He was referring to the Mejia thermal power station in West Bengal, which provides 100MW of electricity to Delhi.
The plant had no coal reserves to generate electricity for even one extra day, said Kejriwal in the letter. Of the remaining four, three had only a day of coal stocks, while the fourth had a reserve of four days, he added.