New Delhi: The government on Friday said the grim power situation in the country will improve before Diwali, as it has directed generation companies with surplus coal to pass on some of their fuel to feedstock-starved units.

"Diwali would be celebrated with light. The power situation would improve in the next 4-5 days," Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters here.

He said the Power Ministry is taking various steps to resolve the power crisis in the country and is in constant discussions with the ministries of coal and railways regarding the matter.

The Power Ministry has also resorted to diverting surplus coal from some projects to fuel-deficient plants.

"We have transferred some coal from one unit or plant to another, wherever required," the minister further added.

"There are problems of supply of coal and we are in touch with the Coal Ministry," Shinde said, adding, "Floods in Orissa have flooded the mines, thereby coal could not be supplied to the power plants."

"Now, the situation is improving, to get quick rakes we have asked the railways," he added.

On being asked whether the situation would remain critical till Diwali, Shinde said, "It would start improving in a few days and would be resolved by Diwali."

At present, over 40 thermal power projects in the country have coal stocks sufficient for less than a week, of which 29 are facing an acute fuel shortage of less than four days' coal stocks.

The Coal Ministry has assured the Power Ministry that it will make efforts to supply more coal through the electronic auction route to the country's largest power producer NTPC, whose generation has been hit due to an acute shortage of the dry fuel.

(Agencies)