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Power Crisis: Govt replenishing stock, no need to panic, says Prahlad Joshi

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New Delhi, Oct 12: Union Cabinet Minister for Coal Prahlad Joshi has assured that the government is in process to restore the coal stock and assured that there is no need to panic.

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"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 said.

"We have continued our supply, even continued in the past despite dues. We are requesting them (states) to increase stock...There won't be a coal shortage," the minister added.

The statement comes at a crucial time as several states Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka sounded the alarm, over power crisis.

Meanwhile, the Power Ministry today asked states to utilise unallocated power of the central generating stations (CGS) to meet the requirements of their own consumers amid the ongoing coal shortage crisis in the country.

It has been brought to the notice of Ministry of Power that some States are not supplying power to their consumers and imposing load shedding. At the same time, they are also selling power in the power exchange at high price.

As per the guidelines for allocation of power, 15% power from the Central Generating Stations (CGS) are kept under "unallocated power" which is allocated by the Central Government to the needy States to meet the requirement of power of the consumers.

The responsibility to supply power to the consumers is of the distribution companies and they should first serve their consumers who have the right to receive 24x7 power. Thus, the distribution companies should not sell the power in the power exchange and starve their own consumers.

The States have therefore been requested to use the unallocated power for supplying electricity to the consumers of the State. In case of surplus power, the States have been requested to intimate to the Government of India so that this power can be reallocated to other needy State.

In case any state is found that they are not serving their consumers and selling power in the power exchanges at higher rate, the unallocated power of such states shall be withdrawn and allocated to other needy states.

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