Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday met cabinet colleagues in charge of the coal and power ministries amid concerns that power shortages could lead to power shortages in many parts of the country.
The meeting was attended by senior officials and officials of the state-run Energy Federation NTPC Limited.
In an effort to allay fears of power outages in New Delhi and other cities, several states have warned of power outages despite the central government’s assurance that India has sufficient coal reserves to meet the demand for its power plants.
The current fuel reserves at the coal-fired plants are about 7.2 million tonnes, which is enough for four days, the Coal Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
Coal India, a state-owned mining company, has more than 40 million tonnes of reserves supplied to power plants.
“The fear of a power outage is completely false,” the ministry said.
The explanation came a day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal warned of a power crisis in the megacity, which has a population of more than 20 million.
Across India, many areas have been hit by supply shortages for months.
Coal power plants in India had an average of four days of stock at the end of September, the highest level in years.
Deficits in India, the world’s second-largest coal consumer, have led to widespread power outages in China, which have shut down factories and hit production and global supply chains.
Coal accounts for about 70 per cent of India’s electricity generation and three-quarters of fossil fuels are cut domestically.
As Asia’s third-largest economy recovers following the corona virus wave, heavy rains have flooded coal mines, disrupting transportation networks and pushing up prices for coal buyers, including power stations.
International coal prices have also risen.
However, the ministry sounded enthusiastic on Sunday, saying that despite heavy monsoon and increased demand for electricity, “domestic products supported power generation in a big way”.
(With AFP inputs)