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Coal shortage due to rains, says Union Minister Pralhad Joshi

The Centre’s flip flop on the coal crisis continues as they say there is no shortage at times while citing reasons for the scarcity on other occasions.

Coal shortage due to rains, says Union Minister Pralhad Joshi

New Delhi: The Centre’s flip flop on the coal crisis continues as they say there is no shortage at times while citing reasons for the scarcity on other occasions.

On Tuesday, Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said that the coal shortage was caused due to rains which in turn led to a rise in international prices.

“Due to rains, there was coal shortage, causing an increase in international prices- from Rs 60 per ton to Rs 190 per ton. Subsequently, imported coal power plants are either shut for 15-20 days or producing very less. This put pressure on domestic coal,” said Joshi.

“Yesterday we supplied 1.94 million tons, the highest ever supply of domestic coal. As far as states are concerned, this year till June we requested them to increase stock, some of them went on to say that ‘please do a favour, don't send coal now’,” he added.

The government has asked state-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) to augment the 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, PTI reported citing a source.

Meanwhile, Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain blamed the Centre saying the power crisis seems to have been deliberately created.

“We are compelled to buy electricity at five times the average rate as of now. It looks like the crisis is being created. If there’s no shortage of coal, why is NTPC not producing electricity to its full capacity?” Jain was quoted as saying by ANI.

Karnataka’s leader of the opposition and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah also smelled a conspiracy behind the coal shortage. He accused the state government of creating an artificial deficiency of coal in the southern state only with an aim to privatisation of thermal plants.

The former Chief Minister of Karnataka said that the state has enough electricity production, reservoirs are full and he doubted that the issue of coal deficiency is real.

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