‘Artificial’: Congress Slams Centre Over Power Crisis; Demands Immediate Solution

New Delhi: With significant regions of the country experiencing prolonged power outages, the opposition Congress claimed on Friday that the central government’s ineptitude and misgovernance were to blame for the “manufactured” crisis this summer.

The issue, according to Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh, was caused by the Modi government’s failure to provide logistical support for coal distribution to power plants across the country.

He stated that the Modi government cannot shirk its responsibilities by blaming states for the country’s difficulties.

He claimed that 16 states in the country are experiencing daily power outages of up to 10 hours, and that power plants with a combined capacity of 72,074 MW are unable to operate owing to a lack of coal, despite the fact that there is no shortage.

He further claimed that 106 of the total 173 power plants have less than 25% of their normal reserve, forcing governments to pay as much as ₹12 per MW for power.

“This power crisis is artificial and is due to the poor governance and poor management in coal distribution. This is purely misgovernance,” he said at a press conference.

“Why are these power plants not operating. Why are states being forced to buy power at ₹ 12 per MW. Against the daily demand of 22 lakh tonnes of coal, why only 16 lakh tonnes are being supplied. What is the government’s plan to cater to the peak power demand and resolve the current power crisis,” he also asked.

Mr Vallabh also said the Modi government cannot run away from its responsibility and blame the states for all the problems in the country.

“If the states are to be blamed for everything, then what is the central government’s job,” he asked.

“We demand that the artificial power crisis due to the mismanagement of coal supply is resolved soon,” he said, noting that even a state like Jharkhand which has coal mines is facing over 17.5 per cent shortage of power.

Mr Vallabh also questioned if the government is claiming that there is no shortage of coal in the country, then why are states like Uttar Pradesh are supplying power for only four hours everyday.

“If the situation today is so bad, what will happen when there is peak demand in the country,” he asked.

The demand for electricity is anticipated to climb even more in the following days, as the weather service predicts that the country’s heatwave will worsen.

According to numbers provided by the Congress leader, there was only 2,304 MW available for supply on Friday morning at 10.45 a.m., against a demand of 16,035 MW, and that at a rate of 12 per MW.

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