Kejriwal seeks PM’s intervention on coal crisis

He says if situation continues unabated, it would severely impact the power supply in Delhi; BJP questions govt.’s efforts

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the prevailing coal shortage, which he alleged was continuing for the third consecutive month, affecting power generation from major plants supplying electricity to Delhi.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) Tariff Regulations, the Chief Minister said, mandated that generating stations maintain a coal stock of 10 days and 20 days; but these had dipped to zero to four days at five of the stations.

“Under this situation, the dependency on gas stations supplying power to Delhi increases. However, the gas plants do not have adequate APM gas [Administered Pricing Mechanism] to run at full capacity,” Mr. Kejriwal said. If the situation continued unabated, the CM added, it would severely impact the power supply to Delhi.

Discourage profiteering

Mr. Kejriwal sought the PM’s intervention for diversion of coal and gas to specific plants supplying power to the Capital and capping of exchange power rates to discourage profiteering by traders and generators from the current crisis.

These measures, he said, were essential to maintain uninterrupted power in Delhi, which caters to strategic and important installations of national importance.

This was in addition to supplying power to essential services such as cold chains for vaccination drives, hosp-itals, healthcare centres and COVID Care Centres among others, Mr. Kejriwal said.

“In the interest of consumers of Delhi and the power sector, I request your kind intervention to resolve the current crisis at the earliest,” Mr. Kejriwal said, adding that steps needed to be taken to avoid such a situation in future.

Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor questioned the efforts made by the Delhi government during the last fortnight to ensure proper supply of coal and gas for city’s power plants.

“Whenever a crisis hits Delhi, be it pollution, water shortage, COVID-19 or an ensuing power crisis, the Delhi government humbly pleads for help to the Centre, but the moment the crisis passes, AAP criticises the Centre to no end,” Mr. Kapoor alleged. “The people of Delhi now well understand this dirty politics of AAP and it will face the consequences in the ensuing civic elections,” he said.

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