New Delhi: As the power crisis in the country seems to be deepening, power secretary Alok Kumar on Monday said Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh have to clear dues to coal companies for sustaining supplies.
In an interview with CNBC-TV 18, Kumar acknowledged the power shortage saying it slightly increased in the first week of October.
“Energy shortage used to be around 0.2-0.3 percent, currently, the shortage is still less than 1 percent. In some states, there are certain issues but the situation is under control and monitored continuously,” Kumar told the channel.
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While elaborating on state dues, Kumar said, “We have been writing to the states to pay their dues for the coal companies because these states have huge outstanding due to coal companies and their coal supplies were affected. I would say these states are responsible for not collecting money, on time, from their customers and paying to coal companies.”
He said chief secretaries of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh have been repeatedly informed about clearing their dues to the coal companies in order to ensure coal supply.
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“There are factors like the delayed monsoon, coal dispatch, though they are higher than the previous year there is a tight situation, but the states who have managed timely coal stocks by paying to the coal companies, are not having such a big problem,” Kumar added.
The power secretary also shared the details at a time when several states, including the national capital Delhi, staring at a power crisis because of several factors including excessive rainfall hitting coal movement and imported coal-based power plants generating less than half of their capacity due to record-high rates.
While power producers and distributors have warned of blackouts as generation units are running coal as low as two days, the Coal Ministry informed that the country has adequate coal stocks and low inventory doesn’t mean generation will stop as stock is being continuously replenished.
As per the publication, the outstanding dues of the Maharashtra state utility to Coal India were Rs 3,176.1 crore at the end of FY21, Uttar Pradesh has Rs 2743.1 crore due and Tamil Nadu state utility dues stand at Rs 1,281.7 crore, and that of the Rajasthan state utility were Rs 774 crore.
(With inputs from PTI)
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