Amid reports of power crisis due to alleged shortage of coal stock in the country, government sources on Tuesday said States have to pay nearly Rs 20,000 crores as dues to Coal India.
As per government sources, the Coal Ministry has been writing to States to pick up stocks from Coal India since January but received no response.
States are not mining enough and are not picking up stocks from Coal India despite reminders, which also contributed to the current situation. States like Delhi and Punjab had shut main coal plants, said sources.
Government sources further stated that Coal India can stock only up to a limit as overstocking can cause coal fire. Jharkhand, Rajasthan and West Bengal have their coal mines but there was little or no mining. Prolong monsoon, increase in foreign coal prices also led to coal shortage. When international coal prices were low, States and electricity companies were buying it from abroad. Now when its prices are high, they are looking for domestic coal, stated sources.
Meanwhile, the government is planning to ramp up per day coal production from 1.94 million tonnes to 2 million tonnes per day in the next five days, as per sources. No supply of coal was ever stopped to any State despite huge dues, they added.
Sources said that the Centre is fulfilling all the demands required by the States.
Coal stocks have started increasing in the last four days, sources said, adding that the situation will be normal within a month. There is no shortage in daily power and coal supply, they said.