Cut in coal supply costs state Rs 600 cr per year - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Friday, July 12, 2019

Cut in coal supply costs state Rs 600 cr per year


Cut in coal supply costs state Rs 600 cr per year

Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, July 11

The Punjab government is suffering a loss of Rs 600 crore each year on account of the Union government’s policy of cutting down on the coal allocation to the state. This is forcing the state to buy expensive imported coal, cost of which is running the state power utility dry.

Realising how the cash-strapped state is losing money, the state government, led by Capt Amarinder Singh, has decided to take up the matter regarding the cut in coal supply with the Union government. Punjab will be demanding restoration of its original allocation of coal.

Over the past one year, the coal supplied to the thermal power generation plants in Punjab (state owned as well as private generators) has come down from 6.6 million tonnes to 4.9 million tonnes. This has been done by Coal India Limited in accordance with the policy to allot coal as per the effective power generation capacity in a state. Since the two power plants — two units at Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant in Ropar and one unit at Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant in Bathinda — shut down, the total coal allocated to the state had been reduced.

Also, when these three thermal power units were shut, the Congress government thought that the three private plants at Rajpura, Talwandi Sabo and Goindwal would start generating power at their optimum capacity. “However, the coal allocated to these three plants is also to meet just 75 per cent of their generation capacity,” said a senior official in the Power Department.

Official sources in PSPCL have told The Tribune that these days when the demand of power is at unprecedented levels, especially in wake of a weak monsoon so far, the demand for generating power from the state’s own thermal plants as well as the three private plants had increased manifold. But the coal stocks available with the state are getting depleted and with replenishments not coming any time soon, the state has little option but to buy expensive power from producers outside Punjab.

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