By Express News Service
Several north Indian states are staring at blackouts as an acute coal shortage is crippling power production. Severe shortage at thermal plants in Punjab forced utility PSPCL to cut down generation and impose load shedding at several places, while supplies are being cut for one hour daily in Rajasthan.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged the Centre to intervene to address an impending energy crisis in the National Capital.
The impact of the shortage was also felt in other parts of the country, including Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Meanwhile, Union coal minister Pralhad Joshi said a steep rise in international prices and excessive rains were to be blamed for the shortage. However, he added that the situation would be ‘alright’ in three-four days.
A coal ministry official said India had adequate stocks of coal, but transportation from mines to plants was hit due to rains.
“There are about 40 million tonnes of coal stocks at the mines and another 7.5 million tonnes at power plants,” he said.