New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday chaired a meeting of the top brass of coal, power and railway ministries amid electricity outages in various parts of the country due to shortage of coal at thermal plants, according to sources.
The meeting was attended by Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi, Power Minister R K Singh and top officials, among others. During the meeting, Shah reviewed the situation of coal supply to the power plants and power generation, among other issues, the sources told PTI.
The Union home ministry is the coordinating ministry between the Centre and states on various issues.
Since last week, various states have been grappling with power outages and efforts are being made to increase coal supplies to the thermal power plants.
According to the latest data, coal stock at 147 non-pithead plants with total generation capacity of 164 GW monitored by Central Electricity Authority (CEA) was 26 per cent of the normative level as on May 1. The dry fuel stock at these plants was 14,664 thousand tonnes against the normative level of 57,236 thousand tonnes on Sunday.
Non-pithead power plants are located hundreds of kilometers away from coal mines and maintaining normative fuel stocks is essential to ensure uninterrupted power supply. As per national grid operation Power System Operation Corporation data (POSOCO), power consumption in the country grew 13.6 per cent year-on-year to 132.98 billion units (BU) in April, showing the impact of the early onset of summers and spurt in economic activities.
Power consumption in April last year was at 117.08 BU, which was higher than 84.55 BU in the same month of 2020. The supply of coal by state-owned Coal India Ltd to the power sector rose 15.6 per cent to 49.7 million tonnes last month in the wake of high demand of the dry fuel from electricity generating plants. The CIL has also stressed that it is planning to augment its dispatches further, especially to power plants in the coming months.
Amid intensifying heat wave in different parts of the country, peak power supply touched record levels thrice last week. The peak power supply touched a record 201.65GW on Tuesday. This had surpassed last year's maximum demand met of 200.53 GW on July 7, 2021. Again, it was at a record level of 204.65GW on Thursday and touched an all-time high of 207.11GW on Friday. It was at 200.65GW on Wednesday. The peak power supply was 199.34 GW at the beginning of this week on Monday.