2 months' buffer stock needed, not of 4 days

Kashmir Times. Dated: 10/12/2021 11:16:31 AM

Cong flays Centre for playing down power crisis

NEW DELHI, Oct 11: The Congress on Monday came down heavily on Union Power Minister R K Singh (68) as responsible for plunging the country into a major power crisis and yet claiming that the coal reserve is enough for more than four days as against the norm of the coal-based power stations as well as the coal mines to have a buffer stock of at least two months.

Its spokesman Gourav Vallabh, an expert economist, the Centre did not take care of the buffer stock of coal as its focus as always remains on the optics. He told a Press conference here that the Centre does not know how much coal is available in the country since even Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi claimed "sufficient" stock with the government-controlled Coal India Limited to ensure supplies to the power stations.

He never expected the power minister to be so irresponsible since he is a former IAS officer of 1975 batch and has been the country's home secretary before plunging into politics, he said.

Gourav ridiculed the power minister's denial of a power crisis at a time when most of the states have started resorting to two hours of power cut because of the coal crisis. Are the state governments that include those of the ruling BJP are telling a lie of the coal shortage and are the power generating stations cutting down production of electricity because of the coal shortage, he asked.

Pointing out that only three states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha are the coal producers having mines while the coal supplies are needed by all the states, Gourav said the Centre has the key role in not only production but also in movement of coal, which cannot be transported by trucks since it requires the railway racks that also come under the Centre's arena.

He said the Centre should first accept the problem instead of the denial and create a group that can get cracking by increasing the frequency of the railway racks and rushing all available coal supplies to the power stations, temporarily suspending supply to others with which forward sale agreements have been signed.

What is required is a logistics and supply chain with right persons to handle it, right quantity and right supply chain, Gourav said, pointing out that this is the festival time when any power cuts would be ruinous besides hitting the industries.



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