Four thermal power plants have been shut down as the Rajasthan Vidhyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (RVUNL) has run out of money to pay for coal. It has now been ten days since the units have closed.
The other units are left with a stock that would last three-four days, Hindustan Times reported.
It shut down two 600x2 MW units of Kalisindh (Jhalawar), 250MW of Giral (Barmer) and 1500MW of Suratgarh Thermal Power Station in Sriganganagar.
The state has a total of six thermal units in districts Suratgarh with 2160 MW capacity, Kota (1240MW), Chhabra (1320MW), Kalisindh (1200MW), Giral 250MW (Barmer), 270.50MW plant in Jaisalmer.
Dues To Clear
The condition of RVUNL was brought to light earlier as well. The supply was stopped as the power generation firm was unable to clear the due of coal firms, resulting in the shutting down of some thermal plants. the power plants require nearly 16 rakes of coal every day, each rake containing 4000 tonnes.
The debt-ridden RVUNL owes ₹409 crores to Parsa Kanta Collieries Limited (PKCL), ₹68 crore is to Northern Coalfields Limited, and ₹444.6 crores to South Eastern Coalfields up till August 1, a department official told the media.
With units shutting down, the DISCOMS are buying power from the power exchange to meet the requirement. "Due to a weak monsoon, which resulted in high temperatures, the electricity demand has increased from 20 crore units per day to 30 crore units per day," the department official informed, as per Hindustan Times.
CM Sanctions Money
The state government needs to clear over ₹900 crores pending amount to coal companies. Taking cognisance of the crisis, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot released ₹900 crores. It is reported that the minister is sanctioning another ₹1000 crore to clear the dues.
Minister of Coal, Mines, Prahlad Joshi said the shortage is because the coal mines are flooding with water, and measures are being taken to pump it out and restart the supply.
Energy Minister BD Kalla assured of resolving the shortage in a week. He also informed the Coal India company was supposed to provide four and a half rakes according to the agreement but sent three. The administration has asked the company to meet the gap by sending nine rakes. For now, the coal will be provided through rail and road transport to meet the requirement, he added.
Calling it mismanagement on the part of the government, Former CM Vasundhara Raje alleged that the authorities did not pay for coal, which further stopped the supply and brought units to the brink of closure.
Raje said the state witnessed unexpected power cuts, both in urban and rural areas.