Centre accuses States of profiteering from power

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 12, 2021

Doesn’t name them, but threatens to reduce/stop unallocated power to States selling Central feed at higher rates

A day after States ratcheted up the rhetoric against the Centre for coal shortage, the latter accused the former of selling electricity at a higher price on power exchanges while unplugging consumers. The Centre, however, did not name the States it alleged were indulging in such profiteering.

In an office memorandum, the Power Ministry said, “As per the guidelines for allocation of power, 15 per cent power from the Central Generating Stations (CGS) is kept under ‘unallocated power’ which is allocated by the Centre to the needy States.

“At present, the demand from coal-based power plants has increased. It has been observed that some States are not supplying power to their consumers and imposing load-shedding in some areas. On the other hand, they are selling power in the power exchanges at a high price.”

“In case of surplus power, the States are requested to intimate so that this power can be reallocated to other needy States. If any State is found selling power in power exchanges or not scheduling this unallocated power, their unallocated power may be temporarily reduced or withdrawn and reallocated to other States,” the Ministry said.


Short supply by Delhi: NTPC


Simultaneously, the Centre responded to the Delhi Government’s accusations of NTPC not supplying power to Delhi by asserting that NTPC and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) have been instructed to secure power supply to the Capital.

NTPC maintained that the data show Delhi Discoms have been scheduling less electricity than available.

“NTPC has been making available required power for Delhi. As the data (between October 1 and 11) shows, Delhi Discoms have been scheduling only 70 per cent of the power that has been made available by the NTPC,” said a tweet posted by the NTPC.


Managing: Telangana

States responded, saying they have been managing largely on their own. Telangana maintained that if a power crisis happens in the State, it is because of the Centre’s attempts to “impose” laws on the States. “We don’t have any problem as of now. We have enough stocks of coal as we are dependent on the coal from Singareni Collieries,” Telangana’s Energy Minister Jagadish Reddy said.

In the eastern region, a majority of the power plants have 5-7 days stock.

Situation improving

According to Somesh Dasgupta, wholetime director of India Power Corporation Ltd, the high prices of imported coal discouraged players dependent on them from taking supplies. They also turned to domestic coal supplies. This, coupled with recovery in demand in the domestic market, increased the demand for power over the last one month. “The situation is now improving and in the next 15 days we are hoping it should improve further,” Dasgupta told BusinessLine.

Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut said the State is not getting power from the companies that have signed contracts with the Maharashtra Government.

“Coal India has no stocks and private players have stopped importing coal. There is power shortage but we will not allow the State to face a blackout,” he said.

Raut said that the State is facing a crisis because of coal deficiency and that four of the 27 power generation units are currently shut.

Charges unplugged

Power Ministry has accused some States of selling electricity on power exchanges at a high price

Telangana said if at all a power crisis happens, it is because of the Centre’s attempts to “impose” laws on the States

Maharashtra Energy Minister said the State is not getting power from the companies that have signed contracts with the government; crisis yes,


Published on October 12, 2021

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