Thermal power plants in the country at present have upto 21 days of power generation stock available with them, government told the Rajya Sabha today while asserting that there is no shortfall in coal supply.Responding to questions, Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said that unlike the situation prevalent last year, at present the coal stock in different important power plants in the country is 26 million tonnes which is an average 21 day power generation stock.
He said only one power plant does not have more than the critical level of stock and that also because that plant was consuming fast and not because of shortage of supply.The same time last year, news reports were all about how thermal power plants were getting no coal, he said.The minister said the import of coal had also decreased by 13.9 per cent between April and September this year as against last year.He, however, added that the demand for coal is higher than the current level of production and the gap between total consumption and domestic supply is met through import of coal.
Goyal said the government seeks to meet the domestic demand for coal by increasing coal production. A roadmap, he said, had been prepared by Coal India Limited to substantially enhance coal production by 2019-2020.By 2017, we will not need to import coal for interior areas though some coastal areas may get coal from outside, he said.Responding to another question, Goyal, who is also the Minister for Renewable Energy, said during this year, there is a plan to provide solar pumps in the agriculture sector across various during this year.
He said around 30,000 pumps have been installed and when the nearly 1.08 lakh sanctioned pumps are installed, it will significantly cut down the diesel consumed in the country.Responding to another question, the minister said 2 billion litres of diesel is used in agriculture sector and attempts would be made to significantly reduce it.