New Delhi: As many parts of the country continued to face disruptions in electricity supply due to coal shortage, the government has swung into action to resolve the issue of power outages "within 48 hours".

"Within 48 hours all problems would be solved," Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told reporters here.

He said the Coal Ministry would make efforts to provide more coal to state-run NTPC, whose many plants are running below capacity levels due to coal shortage.

Jaiswal also said his ministry would make efforts to provide more coal to NTPC.

"We will try to make available more coal to NTPC through e-auction," he said. Details about the same was not available immediately. e-auction is a process whereby coal is sold at
market price.

The government on Tuesday  had asked coal firms, including the biggest producer CIL, to step up coal supply to power stations to ensure that power generation was uninterrupted.

Country's largest power producer NTPC had said on Monday that coal shortage is hurting the electricity generation. As per estimates, coal shortage is impacting over 4,000 MW of
NTPC's power generation capacity.

Earlier in the day, Power Secretary P Uma Shankar said that Ministries of Power and Coal would be meeting soon to deliberate on the issue of fuel supplies for power projects.

"e-auction (of coal) should be resorted to after they (producers) meet the requirement of the power sector," Shankar said at a FICCI event here.

The Power Ministry has asked the Coal Ministry to provide coal supplies for power projects before going ahead with e-auction. Shankar also said that Coal Secretary has given
assurance that Coal India will be able to spare coal, provided the developer picks the dry fuel directly from the mine.

A major chunk of India's power generation is from thermal plants that use coal as the main fuel.  Despatch of coal to power generating companies received setback during August and September due to heavy rains in all the coalfields, adversely affecting output and transportation of coal from mines to railway sidings.

Coal production has also been hit by the Telangana agitation. Supply from Singareni Coal Mines in Andhra Pradesh has been affected by the agitation. CIL contributes more than
80 percent of the domestic coal output. India produced around 550 million tonnes of coal last year.

Delhi, Maharashtra West Bengal and Karnataka are among the states hit by power outages.

(Agencies)