Coal paucity hits power in Uttar Pradesh, crisis deepens

Lucknow: Despite improved weather and heavy rains bringing down electricity demand, power crisis in Uttar Pradesh deepened Monday with acute shortage of coal being reported from many power plants.

Officials said coal reserves in Parischa and Harduaganj power plants was on the brink and Tanda, Rihand, Singrauli and Roza power plants were already non-functional.

Aanpara requires about 28,000 metric tonnes of coal against its present stock of 7,500 metric tonnes. The combined production of these power plants is around 4,000 MW and due to paucity of coal the production over the weekend has slipped to a precarious 1800 MW.

For a state, already battling for power with a demand and supply defecit of 2000 MW, this is being seen as a body blow.

Alarmed at the power crisis, likely to cast a shadow in the forthcoming state assembly by-polls, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has written a letter to the union government seeking immediate redressal.

Meanwhile, union power ministry while confirming the SoS by Yadav said much of the solution lay with the state government. "UP will have to get down to course correction and reduce line losses, check power theft and then only a long term solution to the power sector in UP will emerge," a power ministry official told IANS.

He also said that a telephonic conversation between union minister of state for power Piyush Goel and the Uttar Pradesh chief minister took place late Sunday and the union government was trying its best to find an immediate solution to the problem.

The official, however, said the issues like coal supply will only be in order post Sep 15. To meet the emergency of a grim power scenario, the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) has begun purchase of over 15 million units of power through energy exchange.

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