AP: CM Jagan Calls for long term solutions to beat coal crisis

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday ordered officials to chart out a long-term power generation strategies along with temporary measures to tackle the ongoing power crisis which as onset due to a reported shortage of coal.

The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) chief emphasized on “zero shortage of coal” for operating thermal power plants and asked state government officials to regularly coordinate with Coal India and other organizations including Singareni Colleries to procure the required amount of coal. 

He laid emphasis on alternatives such as freight ships which could help in the regular flow of coal in the state, and added that there is a need to establish coordination with the coal ministry, and other central agencies which could help solve the crises. In a review meeting held at his camp office on Monday, Jagan Mohan Reddy took stock of the coal shortage in the state and ordered officials to take necessary steps to ensure the setting up of a 6300 MW reverse pumping power generation project and to focus on the proposed 1350 MW reverse pumping project at Sileru.

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He instructed the authorities to materialize the proposed projects at the earliest. The officials informed that 170 MW of power is being made available from the Power Trading Corporation, said a press release from his office. Earlier this month the AP chief minister had written to the Centre, seeking intervention with regard to the coal crises.

In his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jagan Mohan Reddy stated that demand for power has gone up by 15% in the last six months and by 20% in the last month. Jagan Mohan Reddy put forth four demands from the Centre, including diverting 20 % of coal rakes which he said could be directed towards AP’s thermal stations from the railways and coal ministry.

“The stranded/non-working pit-head coal plants in India without PPAs or coal linkage may be revived on an emergency basis. Some of these projects are under the CIRP process by NCLT. Such plants must also commence operations immediately, regardless of the stage of the proceedings at NCLT. This will save the coal transport time and quantity limitations in coal transportation to non-pit head coal plants,” Jagan Mohan Reddy added.

The AP chief minister also suggested that deepwater well gas available with ONGC and Reliance may be supplied on an emergency basis to the 2300 MW non-working gas plants in AP. “The deficit of nearly 500 MW from Central Generating stations due to plant maintenance can be bridged by reviving the plants at the earliest or the maintenance be postponed,” he told the Prime Minister.

The Union ministry of coal responded to the letter stating that coal availability is sufficient and that the “fear” of disruption in the power supply is “unfounded”. Furthermore, the ministry went on to claim that coal-based power generation has grown by 24% this year and added that despite heavy rains, Coal India Ltd supplied more than 225 MT Coal to Power Sector.

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