Power Secretary Alok Kumar on Monday said that Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh need to clear dues to coal companies to sustain supplies. Kumar's comments have come at a time when several states, including the national capital Delhi, is staring at a power crisis owing to a combination of factors such as excess rainfall hitting coal movement and imported coal-based power plants generating less than half of their capacity due to record-high rates.
While power producers and distributors have warned of blackouts as generation units are running coal as low as two days, the Coal Ministry said the country has adequate coal stocks and low inventory doesn't mean generation will stop as stock is being continuously replenished.
“Power shortage slightly increased in the first week of October; energy shortage used to be around 0.2-0.3 percent, currently, the shortage is still less than 1 percent. In some states, there are certain issues but the situation is under control and monitored continuously,” Kumar told CNBC-TV18.
On state dues, he said, “We have been writing to the states to pay their dues for the coal companies because these states have huge outstanding due to coal companies and their coal supplies were affected. I would say these states are responsible for not collecting money, on time, from their customers and paying to coal companies.”
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“I have written repeatedly to the chief secretaries of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh that they have to clear their dues to the coal companies so that we can sustain their coal supply and that’s one of the major reasons. There are factors like the delayed monsoon, coal dispatch, though they are higher than the previous year there is a tight situation, but the states who have managed timely coal stocks by paying to the coal companies, are not having such a big problem,” said Kumar.
—with inputs from PTI
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