Hospitals, metro may face power disruptions, warns Delhi govt amid coal shortage

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The Delhi government on Thursday warned of a possible power disruption at crucial establishments, including metro and hospitals. The warning stemmed from an increasing coal shortage.

A statement by the Delhi government read: “Due to a disruption of power supply from Dadri-II and Unchahar power stations, there may be a problem in 24-hours power supply to many essential institutions, including Delhi Metro and Delhi government hospitals.”

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Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain has now written to the Union government urging it to ensure adequate coal supply to power plants that provide electricity to the national capital.

Jain said that 25%-30% of the electricity demand of Delhi is being met by these coal-powered stations at present. “The government is monitoring the situation closely trying to ensure that people do not face power outage,” he said.

Satyender Jain said: “These power stations play an important role in preventing blackouts in several parts of Delhi and are essential for ensuring a continuous supply of electricity to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, hospitals and homes in the summer.”

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The Delhi government’s fear comes from the fact that the coal reserves at National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC)’s Dadri-II and Jhajjar (Aravali) are running very low. These stations were established primarily to meet the power requirements in Delhi.

Delhi gets 1,751 megawatts (MW) of electricity from the Dadri-II, Unchahar, Kahalgaon, Farakka, and Jhajjar power plants. The capital gets the maximum supply of 728 MW from Dadri-II power station, while it receives 100 MW from the Unchahar station.

The coal shortage, coupled with the long spell of heatwave in the north and east, has triggered blackouts across many parts of the country. Now, many states are struggling to meet the record demand for electricity.

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The Union government, meanwhile, has asked states to boost their imports over the next three years to build up inventories.

The All India Power Engineers Federation said thermal power plants across India are grappling with coal shortages, indicating a looming power crisis in the country.

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