New Delhi: The Centre must bear the additional cost of coal imports as it has put "undue pressure" on states to import the dry fuel for blending purpose, the All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) said on Wednesday. The present coal crisis has arisen due to a lack of coordination between Central government ministries of Power, Coal and the Railways. Therefore, undue pressure should not be put on states to import coal, the AIPEF said in a statement.
The AIPEF statement comes as the Power Ministry warned gencos on Wednesday that if orders for coal imports are not placed by May 31, and the imported fuel does not start arriving at power plants by June 15, the defaulter gencos will have to increase their imports to the extent of 15 percent.
"It is an attempt by the Central government to put undue pressure on states. The coal crisis is not the fault of state power generating houses, hence additional cost of coal imports should be borne by the central government," the AIPEF said.
In the statement, AIPEF chairman Shailendra Dubey said the order issued by the Centre today (Wednesday) is "inappropriate and not justified".
He further said that on "one hand, the Centre is claiming that till April the production of Coal in India is higher than the previous year and there is no crisis of coal, on the other hand, the government is saying that power houses should import coal and now this coal import programme has been extended till March 31, 2023."
Most of the thermal power stations in the states are not designed for imported coal, the chairman said, warning that blending of imported coal will increase tube leakages in their boilers.
He further said shortage of railway rakes is being cited as the main reason for the coal crisis. "In such a situation, how this coal will be transported to the thermal power stations located several thousand kilometers away?"
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