The recent power shortage across 12 states is mainly due to a shortage of coal supply from Maharashtra, which in turn is seeking immediate allotment of a coal block in the neighbouring state of Chhattisgarh.
Maharashtra Minister of Energy, Nitin Raut, said that his department is going with micro-level planning to overcome the present coal crisis.
He said Maharashtra had not faced load-shedding for the last six days due to micro-level planning though the power deficit stood at 15%.
He added that another reason for the coal shortage is the lack of rakes. The department needs 37 rakes per day, while only gets 26. Each rake can transport 4,000 metric tonnes (mt) of coal.
The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (MahaGenco) has been allotted a Gare Palma Sector-2 coal block in the Raigarh district.
Raut met Chhattisgarh CM Rupesh Baghel and discussed the energy-related requirements of Maharashtra. CM committed to extending support for the clearance of the Gare Palma Sector-2 coal block as per the rules.
Raut suggested Baghel to ensure continuous coal supply to power generation units of Maharashtra, as this block is crucial and urged for early completion of all the formalities and clearances.
The Maharashtra government will import one lakh mt of coal to cater for the need in the short run. The central government has asked states to import coal for up to 10% blending to deal with the coal crisis.
According to an activist, Rajesh Tripathi, at least 14 villages, including Gare, Saraitola, Bajarmuda, Karwahi and Dolesara, will be destroyed if mining starts in the Tamnar tehsil. Villagers will not give their land for non-agriculture use.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot met Baghel last month, seeking to clear hurdles in developing the coal blocks allotted to the former’s state in Chhattisgarh.
The state government granted final approval to Phase-2 of the Parsa East Kente Basan (PEKB) coal mine and the Parsa coal mine in the Surguja division. These two mines were allotted to Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (RVUNL).
The electricity demand is rising, followed by heatwave-like conditions prevailing in most parts of north and central India. According to the reports, coal demand has increased by almost 10% over the previous year.
India’s coal requirement might increase to 1,123 million tonnes (mt) by 2023. Despite having the world’s fourth-largest coal reserves, India imports around 235 mt of coal, of which around 135 mt can be fulfiled from domestic coal reserves.