"We are increasing the (coal) crushing capacity, increasing (the number of) washeries in mining areas. We have also appealed to the Environment Ministry to allow us to mine additional fuel wherever there are possibilities," Power Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters outside Parliament.

The government has also appealed to state governments, especially Odisha and Jharkahand, to help the Centre in the transportation of coal, Goyal said, exuding confidence that through such measures, the position will be much better in the coming one to two years.

The Minister's reaction came against the backdrop of media reports that NTPC has sent out an SOS to the government informing that some power plants have coal stock left only for four days.

Goyal said the problem of coal supply had aggravated since 2009 and the "crisis was the result of five years of policy flip-flop and the uncertainty has to be resolved".

He said the 'go' and 'no go' policy of the Centre in 2009 led to the fall in production capacity of several old mines while new mines could not be opened.

Thereafter, in 2010, a comprehensive environmental pollution index (CEPI) was introduced which affected seven coal fields and hampered production of an additional 40 million tonnes of coal.

"While the government withdrew the 'go no go' area in 2012, it replaced it with 'inviolate area' policy because of which the uncertainty in coal mining continued," he said.

"We have to import large quantity of coal and power plants do not have adequate supply," he added.

Govt for improving coal supply

Power Minister Piyush Goyal urged members to help the Centre mine coal in their respective states with support of locals so that power supply can be improved.

The Minister said 'corrective' action is being taken by the government to improve coal supply, including efforts by Coal India Ltd to enhance production of domestic coal beyond current year's targets.

Goyal said a committee has been set up for rationalization of coal links to work out "ideal" nearest coalfields and the government will rationalise the supply.

He said the government wants to accelerate power generation during the 12th Plan with a proposed target of 88,537 MW from conventional sources sand 30,000 MW from renewable energy sources.

According to data provided by Power Ministry, during the peak demand period of April to June this year, there was an all-India deficit of 5,295 MW of power.

To a suggestion that Gujarat be allowed to lift coal from western coalfields, he said as power stations in the state came up late, it was alloted Mahanadi Coal Ltd for coal supply.

NTPC warns  coal stocks running out

Six of India's coal-fired power plants do not have enough stocks to weather even a ‘small’ disruption in supplies, with fuel reserves sufficient for only up to two days, the country's largest power producer has warned.

State-run NTPC has asked the Power Ministry to ensure more coal for six plants - which have a combined capacity of 16,840 megawatts or 15 percent of India's total energy capacity from coal-fired plants - particularly as the incoming monsoon rains could disrupt supply deliveries.

India, which uses coal to generate more than half of its electricity, is struggling to provide enough power to meet rising demand and the country is regularly hit with blackouts.


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