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Blaming power producers for low coal stocks at plants, Coal Secretary Susheel Kumar has asserted that there is no shortage of coal and plants should adhere to the Central Electricity Authority's guidelines for stocking of the dry fuel.
"The sentiment that is being created by some people is just to meet their own ends ... so as to get more and more coal. This is not right. This sentiment should not be created. There is no shortage of coal," Kumar told PTI in an interview.
Asserting that there was no shortage of coal, the coal secretary said that pit head stock of Coal India as on October 10 was at 30.3 million tonnes (MT).
"The root cause of all this problem is that many power plants have not followed the CEA (Central Electricity Authority) guidelines of stocking coal for 22 days. This is not the Ministry of Coal instruction. This is the Ministry of Power's instructions," Kumar explained.
The secretary said that if power plants do not stock dry fuel as per the guidelines of the CEA, then during monsoons there would be disruptions and they should face it.
"Now some of the Chief Secretaries and some of the Chief Ministers are also raising this issue. I have written to all of them saying when we mentioned in the month of June that you stock as per the CEA guidelines (as) there is a likelihood of disruption in monsoon and there was also looming threat of employees (Coal India) strike call....they didn't do it," Kumar said.
He said that people have to maintain discipline and adhere to the guidelines.
"See there is something called SOP (standard operating procedure)...So you will have to see your SOP. You have not followed your SOP and now why are you shouting," he said.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had a few days back asked the Centre to ensure adequate supply of coal and early allocation of a coal block situated in Odisha to meet the severe fuel shortage being faced by power units in his state.
A fortnight back, Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam had said that power generation at thermal power stations has reduced by 2,700 MW due to shortage of coal, forcing it to resort to load shedding in the state.
The pit head stock as on March 31, 2017 was 69 million tonnes.
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