Centre blames states for electricity outages across the country; reveals reasons for coal shortage

Union Minister, R K Singh Thursday, blamed States’ negligence in payments and mismanagement for electricity outages in the country.

India recorded its highest power demand on Thursday, reaching 204.653 GW, considered to peak further at 215 GW in the coming months, according to the power ministry. Union Minister, RK Singh, has however denied that there is no coal shortage but mismanagement in picking up coal and clearing pending dues to Coal India Limited (CIL).

According to the report by the Hindustan Times, Singh was quoted as saying 70 Million units of power demand could not be fulfilled across the country. “Power shortages are primarily happening because states have not paid their dues to CIL or they have been unable to lift coal on time which has been allotted to them or because of wrong planning by them in general. Then there are also instances wherein discoms do not buy power from the exchange and simply resort to load shedding.”

His sharp criticism of states has come at a time when the center and states are found in a tussle over soaring prices. Reacting to the blame game, TMC Leader, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, said, “The blind policy of the Modi government is responsible for the nationwide coal crisis today. During the erstwhile Congress era, private companies were allotted coal blocks indiscriminately and the policy continues. Some of these companies don’t even have their power plants in all places, but they extract more coal than required, only to smuggle it out. Central paramilitary forces are supposed to guard these mines. Coal-rich states such as Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha have been financially deprived because the Modi government amended old laws that entitled states to royalty on coal. The money goes to the Centre. This is looting. The Centre is blaming the non-BJP ruled states to hide its corrupt policies.”

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