New Delhi: "Delhi government has to depend on costly gas-based power and spot purchase at high market rate as the NTPC has halved electricity supply to the city from the usual 4,000 MW", Delhi Power Minister Satyendra Jain said on Monday. Jain claimed most of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) plants are running at 50-55 percent capacity as their coal stocks are reduced to meet one-two day need. "NTPC which supplies us 4,000 MW power has reduced it to half currently. This has led us to the generation of power through gas that costs Rs 17.25 per unit," he said.
Delhi has three gas-based plants with a total capacity of 1,900 MW, he said. "The Centre has terminated the quota of cheap gas. We have to purchase it and the generation cost is Rs 17.50 which is not sustainable. Also, we have to resort to spot purchase of power due to the crisis at a high rate of Rs 20 per unit," said the power minister.
Speaking on the matter Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the power situation is "very critical" in the entire country Kejriwal said all efforts were being made to address the power crisis and his government did not want that any "emergency situation" is created. "The situation is very critical in the entire country. Several chief ministers have written to the Centre about it. All are trying together to improve the situation," he said speaking to the reporters on Monday.
When we spoke to our sources at NTPC Dadri, they said that NTPC has adequate coal supplies to meet any power requirement in Delhi. Also, the discoms can schedule power from its Dadri Power plant. "There is ample rolling coal stock available, which means coal is being replenished every day," sources said speaking to PSU Watch.
Jain said that the Chief ministers of many states, including Yogi Adityanath of Uttar Pradesh, have written to the Centre on the issue. Punjab is also facing power cuts. "If there is no power crisis, then why has Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath written a letter to the central government. There is a power crisis in the country; the central government should consider it as a problem, then only its solution can be found," he said.
The demand for electricity in Delhi at present is low. At one time, the electricity demand was more than 7,300 MW, which has come down to 4,562 MW. Even after the demand is low, we have to buy electricity at the rate of Rs 17 to Rs 20, Jain said. (Coal crisis news update)