The Union Railways and Coal minister Piyush Goyal today blamed the state governments and power plants for the critical condition in some thermal power plants for want of coal. “Every year demand for coal increases during monsoon and transportation becomes a challenge due to floods in mine areas. For the last four months, we had asked all the state governments to stock coal for 22-35 days but the plants have brought it down to 12-13 days,” Goyal said at IIM-Calcutta.
About a dozen power plants were in critical situation till recently. Following floods at a number of coal pits power generation units started asking for the coal that they did not lift earlier. The situation was compounded as railway tracks and roads were submerged, he said adding Railway’s decision to shut down the Chandrapura-Dhanbad railway line has affected coal supplies to many power plants.
Goyal said he held a meeting between Railways and Coal India Ltd over coal crisis in the power plants during the day and hoped to see change in the situation over the next 15-20 days.