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energy | IST

Power supply situation 'not very critical'; certain pockets a worry: Power secretary

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“Power shortages have slightly increased in the first week of October. The energy shortages used to be around 0.2 percent to 0.3 percent but the energy shortage currently is still less than 1 percent. In some pockets some states there are certain issues that's all but generally the situation is, I will say, under control and it has been monitored continuously,” said Alok Kumar, the Secretary Ministry of Power.

While the stock markets are illuminated with fresh 52 week and all-time highs, the power situation, especially in certain pockets of India, is an area of concern. Chief ministers of various states have written to the Narendra Modi government on power shortage hassles. Alok Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Power, spoke to CNBC-TV18 and gave a detailed update on the situation.
“Power shortages have slightly increased in the first week of October. The energy shortages used to be around 0.2 percent to 0.3 percent but the energy shortage currently is still less than 1 percent. In some pockets some states there are certain issues that are all but generally, the situation is, I will say, under control and it has been monitored continuously,” he said.
The central government has written to states like Maharastra and Rajasthan to pay the coal companies their dues.
“In the pockets Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and all - we have been writing to the states to pay their dues for the coal companies because these states have huge outstanding dues to coal companies and their coal supplies were affected. So, I will say these states themselves are responsible for not collecting money from their customers timely and paying to coal companies,” he noted.
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“We are still trying to help them but our preference will always be to those states who have been clearing their coal dues timely,” he added.
According to the power secretary, the states who have managed timely coal stocks by paying to the coal companies, have not faced problems.
On coal reserves, he said, “Currently, we require around 1.6 million tonne of coal supply daily from Coal India Limited. If we exclude other sources of coal, against 1.6 million tonne per day, we have been getting on an average so far in October, around 1.32-1.35. I had a meeting with Coal Secretary yesterday and they assured us that in the next three to four days, the coal supplies from Coal India will definitely be at 1.5 million tonne, and they will touch to 1.6 million tonne in three- four days. So we are hopeful that situation will improve definitely.”
The government believes that the demand will sustain at higher levels going by the trends of the previous years and the weather conditions.
“The coal production will definitely go up because Coal India Limited and coal ministry are working for it. So I am very sure that by the end of October, we will see that the stocks will start going up,” he stated.
“We have set a joint goal with the Ministry of coal that by March 31, 2022 coal stocks in the power plant should be touching 40 million tonne which are currently at 7.3 million tonne. With 40 million tonne coal stocks in March end, I don't see any problem coming say in next year,” he explained.
For the full interview, watch the accompanying video.
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