Amit Shah Meets Ministers Amid Coal Shortage, Power Blackouts Concern

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According to the Coal Ministry, there are sufficient reserves of coal to meet the demand. (Representative)

New Delhi:

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday met his cabinet colleagues in charge of the coal and power ministries amid fears of power shortages in many parts of the country due to inadequate supply of coal.

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The meeting, which is still going on, was attended by senior bureaucrats as well as officials of the state-run energy agency NTPC Limited.

Several states have warned of blackouts though the central government has assured that India has sufficient coal reserves to meet the demand for power plants in India, which seeks to allay fears of impending blackouts in New Delhi and other cities.

The current fuel reserves at the coal-fired power plant are about .2.2 million tonnes, which is enough for four days, the coal ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

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The state-owned mineral giant Coal India also has more than 40 million tonnes of stock being supplied to power plants.

“Any risk of power outages is completely wrong.”

The explanation comes a day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal warned of a power crisis in the megacity, which is home to more than two crore people.

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Several regions across India have faced supply crises in recent months, with utility providers resorting to unscheduled power connections.

India’s coal-fired power plants had an average of four days of reserves at the end of September, the lowest in years.

Shortages in India, the world’s second-largest coal-consuming country, have led to massive power outages in China, shutting down factories and hurting production and global supply chains.

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About three-quarters of India’s power generation comes from coal and about three-quarters of fossil fuels are mined domestically.

With the return of Asia’s third-largest economy after the coronavirus wave, heavy rains have flooded coal mines and disrupted transport networks, pushing up prices for coal buyers, including power plants.

International coal prices have also risen.

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The ministry, however, said on Sunday that despite heavy rains and a sharp rise in demand for electricity, “household supplies have greatly helped in power generation”.

(With input from AFP)

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