Indian Home Minister Convenes Meeting to Discuss Coal Shortage, Power Outage Concerns
16:50 GMT 11.10.2021 (Updated: 10:39 GMT 19.07.2022)
India is facing an unprecedented power crisis as more than half of the country's 135 coal-fired power plants, which generate nearly 70 percent of the electricity, are running critically low on coal stocks. The Power Ministry has cited four reasons for the crisis, including increased power consumption and rising global coal prices.
Federal Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with Power Minister Raj Kumar Singh and Coal Minister Prahlad Patel on Monday amid reports of a coal crisis in the country.
During the hour-long meeting, the three ministers are thought believed to have discussed the availability of coal to power plants. The meeting was also attended by senior bureaucrats and officials from the state-run energy conglomerate the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Limited.
Several Indian states, including Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Bengal and the union territory of Delhi, have warned of possible blackouts. But the federal government has vowed that India has ample coal stocks to meet the demand of its power plants.
Seventy percent of the electricity in India is generated using coal.
"Any fear of disruption in the power supply is entirely misplaced," the coal ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
The current fuel stock at coal-powered plants is about 7.2 million tons, sufficient for four days, the statement added.
India is the world's second-largest coal-consuming country after China, which, in turn, has recently witnessed widespread power outages that have shut down factories and badly hit production, as well as global supply chains.