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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today 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.
At a meeting with Union Power Minister R K Singh here, he also flagged the issue of high power transmission charges and asked the Centre to review them at the earliest.
"We are facing severe coal crisis. We discussed the issue with the Power Minister. We have sought his intervention to boost the supply of coal to the state. We have also asked for early allocation of a coal block to us," Siddaramaiah told reporters after the meeting.
Thermal power stations located one each in Bellary and Raichur districts are facing shortage and they have coal stock of less than a day at present. They together contribute 70 million units per day to the state grid, he said in a representation made to the Centre.
Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL), Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) and Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) are the main suppliers.
During first six months of this fiscal, both MCL and SCCL have delivered full coal allocation of 26.70 lakh tonnes, but WCL has supplied about 49 per cent of the allocated 11.63 lakh tonnes of coal, he said.
Stating that the coal stocks in both stations have reached to supercritical levels, the chief minister said that about 70.83 lakh tonnes of coal is required for two thermal power units for next six months and the state has requested for adequate supply.
He also demanded the central government to direct WCL to supply the entire allocated quantity for the year along with backlog.
Siddaramaiah also sought that MCL supply additional 6 lakh tonnes of coal for next six months, while SCCL to deliver 45 lakh tonnes of raw material as per an memorandum of understanding signed with Bellary Thermal Power Station and Yermarus Thermal Power Station.
That apart, he demanded that the centre should allocate at the earliest the "Ghogarpalli coal block" situated in Odisha to meet the coal requirement of new thermal power units. The state had applied for this block in October 2016.
With regard to transmission charges, the Chief Minister said that the state is paying hefty charges subsequent to the 3rd amendment to the CERC (sharing of interstate transmission charges and losses) regulations 2010 that came into effect from May 2015.
The state paid Rs 237.19 crore in August 2017 as against Rs 45.31 crore in April 2015. The charges are high due to change in the methodology of calculation, he said and urged the Centre to intervene in the matter and review the charges proportionate to the usage of power by the state.
State energy minister D K Shivakumar, Karnataka government additional special representative in Delhi Saleem Ahmed, Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd Managing Director G Kumar Naik were among others present in the meeting.