On Friday, the Rajasthan government decided to start a scheduled power cut for 1 hour on daily basis. According to the Rajasthan government, this decision was taken due to a coal shortage in the country that has pushed many utilities to the brink of running out of coal.
The shortage of coal in India, whereas the state records the second-largest coal consumer in the world can follow the footsteps of neighboring China. Due to this shortage, many factories closed within the last few years.
According to the data from the federal grid operator over half of the coal-fired power plants of India that is 135 have fuel stocks of less than three days. These 135 power plants fulfill the need for 70 percent of the country’s electricity.
To make Rajasthan the first state for scheduling an official power cut government-run utility said, “10 major cities that are home to millions of people would be suffering from scheduled power cuts. Their ability to tolerate, making Rajasthan the first state to officially schedule outages due to crisis”.
Whereas an analysis of government data and interviews contradict the government assurances that show that there is enough power in northern states including Rajasthan that have faced crippling power supply.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said, “last stage of harvesting in the state, therefore, farmers of the state required more water. If it is not fulfilled then fields would dry up and farmers stand to lose”.
In southern states, only Andhra Pradesh said that rapid shortfalls in power supply were pushing the states towards random power cuts. Expressing concern for the farmers Reddy added if there is no sufficient power supply to the irrigation pumps then crops could dry up.
Further Reddy said, “the rates are soaring day-by-day in Day-Ahead and Real-Time power markets. It is quite an alarming situation and finances of distribution companies would deteriorate further if the situation persists”. Reddy wrote in his letter that ONGC and Reliance be supplied to revive stranded gas fired-plants that are available in the state. To buy coal proper financial institutions should lend generously to the distribution companies.
According to an analysis from the federal grid regulator, POSOCO showed that not only Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh are affected by the power supply. The eastern states like Bihar and Jharkhand are also affected by the shortage of coal which leads to power shortages.