Amid a deepening crisis in coal shortage, the Delhi government on Thursday warned of a possible setback in providing uninterrupted electricity supply to important establishments in the capital, including Metro trains and hospitals.
Power Minister Satyendar Jain held an emergency meeting to assess the situation and wrote to the Centre requesting it to ensure adequate coal availability to power plants that supply electricity to the national capital.
"Due to disruption of power supply from Dadri-II and Unchahar power stations, there may be a problem in 24-hours power supply to many essential institutions, including Delhi Metro and Delhi government hospitals," a government statement read.
Presently, 25-30 per cent of the electricity demand in Delhi is being met through these power stations, and they face a shortage of coal, Jain said.
He said the government was monitoring the situation closely and making every possible effort to ensure that people did not face power outages in some areas of the capital.
"These power stations play an important role in preventing blackouts in some parts of Delhi and are also essential to ensure the continuous supply of electricity to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, hospitals and people in the upcoming summer season," the minister said.
National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC)'s Dadri-II and Jhajjar (Aravali) were established primarily to meet the power requirement in Delhi. However, there is very little stock of coal left even in these power plants, the statement further said.
The Dadri-II, Unchahar, Kahalgaon, Farakka and Jhajjar power plants supply 1,751 megawatt (MW) of electricity per day to Delhi. The capital gets the maximum supply of 728 MW from Dadri-II power station, while it receives 100 MW from the Unchahar station.
According to the daily coal report of the National Power Portal, all these power plants face an acute shortage of coal.
This, coupled with sweltering summer, has triggered blackouts across many parts of the country as states struggle to manage the record demand for electricity.
Besides measures to increase coal supplies to power plants, the Union government has asked states to step up its imports for the next three years to build up inventories.
Thermal plants across the country are grappling with coal shortage, indicating a looming power crisis in the country, All India Power Engineers Federation said.
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot describes power outage in country as 'national crisis'
Terming power outage a "national crisis", Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot expressed concern on Friday over the shortage of coal supply in the country and the simultaneous increase in electricity demand during summer.
He said the demand for electricity has increased in 16 states due to the rising mercury levels and coal is not being supplied in accordance with the requirement, affecting the power supply.
"This is a national crisis. I appeal to everyone to unite in this crisis and support the government in improving the situation. Turn off non-essential electrical appliances at your home or workplace. Set your priorities and use electricity in accordance with your need," Gehlot said in a tweet in Hindi.
He condemned the Rajasthan unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for putting pressure on the employees of the power distribution companies by staging protests.
"In Rajasthan, the BJP is putting pressure on the electricity department employees, who are doing their work in a challenging atmosphere amidst the power crisis, by staging demonstrations," the veteran Congress leader said.
"It is the job of the Centre to provide coal to the states. Will the directionless state BJP leadership ask the Centre why is it not able to provide coal in accordance with the demand, due to which there has been a crisis in 16 states?" he asked.
(With PTI inputs)