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Minister says Maharashtra facing 4,000 MW power shortage, blames Coal India for fuel supply crunch


MUMBAI: Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut on Tuesday said the state is facing a shortage of 3,500 to 4,000 MW of electricity supply and blamed "mismanagement and lack of planning" on part of central PSU Coal India Ltd (CIL) for the situation.

He said Coal India, a Maharatna PSU and the largest producer of the fossil fuel, has failed to ensure timely supply of coal for thermal power generation plants in the state.

Speaking to reporters, Raut said, "Maharashtra is facing a shortage of electricity supply between 3,500 and 4,000 MW. It is due to Coal India's unorganized functioning and lack of planning which has resulted in Maharashtra facing a severe shortage of coal."

The Congress minister also accused Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd and JSW of not supplying power to Maharashtra despite having agreements to this effect.

He said, "Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd and JSW have agreements with state power utilities to supply 760 MW and 240 MW, respectively.

"Both the companies have not been supplying power to Maharashtra, creating a shortage of 1,000 MW. We have long-term agreements with these companies and they do have enough stock, but still power is not being supplied to Maharashtra."

According to the latest coal-stock data of the 135 plants with over 165 GW of installed generation capacity monitored by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), as many 70 plants are categorised as super-critical stock, or having less than four days of fuel, on October 10, 2021, compared to 64 a week ago on October 3, 2021.

The Central government has asked CIL to augment coal supply to power producers to 1.55-1.6 million tonnes (MT) per day around the Durga Puja period and to further scale it to 1.7 MT per day after October 20.

The coal ministry on Sunday assured sufficient dry fuel is available in the country to meet the demand of electricity generating plants and said any fear of disruption in power supply is "entirely misplaced".

Officials had attributed shortage of coal to disruption of transport due to heavy rains in mining areas.