Power situation ‘very critical’ in entire country, says Kejriwal
New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said the power situation is “very critical” in the entire country even as his cabinet colleague Satyendar Jain claimed that the Delhi government has to depend on costly gas-based power and spot purchase at high market rate as the NTPC has halved electricity supply to the city.
Kejriwal said all efforts were being made to address the power crisis and his government did not want that any “emergency situation” is created.
“The situation is very critical in the entire country. Several chief ministers have written to the Centre about it. All are trying together to improve the situation,” he told mediapersons.
Earlier in the day, Power minister Satyendar Jain said the Delhi government has to depend on costly gas-based power as well as spot purchase at high market rate as the NTPC has halved power supply to the city from the usual 4,000 MW.
NTPC has adequate coal supplies to meet any power requirement in Delhi, sources at the Centre claimed, and added that the discoms can schedule power from its Dadri Power plant.
Jain claimed most of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) plants are running at 50-55 percent capacity as their coal stocks are reduced to meet one-two days need.
Delhi purchases most of its power from NTPC but supply has been halved, Jain told reporters.
“NTPC which supplies us 4,000 MW power has reduced it to half currently. This has led us to generation of power through gas that costs Rs 17.25 per unit,” he said.
Delhi has three gas-based plants with a total capacity of 1,900 MW, he said.
“The Centre has terminated the quota of cheap gas. We have to purchase it and the generation cost is Rs 17.50 which is not sustainable. Also, we have to resort to spot purchase of power due to the crisis at a high rate of Rs 20 per unit,” said the power minister.
Sources at the Centre said even though the Delhi government has been seeking to surrender power from coal-based power plants in the past, the discoms in the city can schedule power from NTPC’s Dadri Power plant.
“There is ample rolling coal stock available, which means coal is being replenished everyday,” they claimed.
Jain said the Centre should accept that coal crisis and address it instead of being in denial mode.
Chief ministers of many states, including Yogi Adityanath of Uttar Pradesh, have written to the Centre on the issue. Punjab is also facing power cuts, he said.
“If there is no power crisis, then why has Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath written a letter to the central government. There is a power crisis in the country; the central government should consider it as a problem, then only its solution can be found,” he said.
The demand for electricity in Delhi at present is low. At one time, the electricity demand was more than 7,300 MW, which has come down to 4,562 MW. Even after the demand is low, we have to buy electricity at the rate of Rs 17 to Rs 20, he said.