Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a high-level meeting to discuss the current power crisis in the country. The meeting was attended by Power minister RK Singh, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi and Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.
As temperatures through out India reach scorching levels and power demand is at an all-time high, nearly 16 states are suffering from two to ten hour power cuts due to acute coal shortage. According to sources, the ministers held the meeting in order to review the current situation and discuss how to resolve the power shortage scenario.
Statistics show that every week, the gap in demand and supply is increasing. While last week on Monday, power supply fell short by 5.24 gigawatts, by Thursday this number was up to 10.77 gigawatts.
The key reason for this gap is the shortage of coal in the country. Not having coal has forced many power plants to shut down completely or at least partially. Nearly 50% of the power plants are closed down already and many more are scheduled to shut down soon.
According to the energy ministry, 18% of the country’s pithead plants, located at the mouth of coal mines, have just 78% of coal of what is required. While 147 power plants away from coal mines have only 25% of the amount of coal they need. If these power plants had 100% stock of coal as per the prescribed criteria, the pithead plant could run for 17 days and the non-pithead plants for 26 days. Of the total 173 power plants in the country, 106 plants have coal stocks that are below 25% of required criteria.