Farmers have been sitting in front of the rail track gates of both power plants. Coal is supplied to plants via rail
PATIALA: With farmers continuing to block rail tracks of private power plants in Punjab, the shortage of coal stock has been forcing them to shut down. Talwandi Sabo Power Limited (TSPL) shut operations on Wednesday morning, while Nabha Power Limited, Rajpura, was also facing an acute shortage of coal.
Farmers have been sitting in front of the rail track gates of both power plants. Coal is supplied to plants via rail.
Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) A Venu Prasad said the coal crisis had deepened. “We are left with coal for two days in some of the plants, whereas some plants have exhausted the stock. TSPL Banawali has been shut down since Wednesday morning. NPL may also shut down soon as it has very limited coal stock left. GVK is having limited coal-stock too. So far, there are no regular power cuts, but these cuts may be imposed from Thursday if required during peak hours. We have sought Rs 200 crore in advance as subsidy being given to PSPCL and, for this, we have sent a request to Punjab finance secretary. We are also tying up with bankers to purchase power on loan,” he said.
He added they had to maintain a coal stock of 25 days according to the guidelines, but this time they were unable to maintain the stock because of the farmer agitation. On Wednesday, the state had a 6,000-MW power demand, of which 1,000 MW was met from hydel projects and other sources.
Parsad said five-six rakes of coal reached TSPL and NPL during one or two-day relief after farmers ended their rail roko agitation and, with this, PSPCL got a mileage of two-three days. He said PSPCL was facing a shortage of 1000 MW and it was being purchased from power exchange. “But any problem can be faced during the purchase,” he said.
PSPCL officials claimed to have provided eight-hour supply to the agriculture sector during paddy season. Due to the lockdown, industrial demand declined this year, but overall demand still touched 14,000 MW.