Maha power shortage artificial, due to wrong policies, says union

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel April 27, 2022 18:08

Maha power shortage artificial, due to wrong policies, says union

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The Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation (MSEWF) on Wednesday made a startling claim that the ongoing power crisis in different states is “man-made”, owing to the “faulty policies” of the Central government.

Mumbai, April 27 (IANS) The Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation (MSEWF) on Wednesday made a startling claim that the ongoing power crisis in different states is “man-made”, owing to the “faulty policies” of the Central government.

MSEWF President Mohan Sharma said that the current power demand in the state is 28,276 MW from its 2.89 crore consumers of all categories.

While the total production by Maharashtra State Power Generation Company is 12,972 MW, the rest is supplied by others – private 5,785 MW, non-traditional sources 8,140 MW and Centre’s 5,952, totaling to 32,849 MW – or, a surplus of 4,573 MW over the demand of 28,276 MW, he pointed out.

Presently, MahaGenCo has 27 sets to generate power from coal, including one – Nashik – set to resume operations by the weekend after repairs/maintenance.

Accordingly, he said recent statements blaming the MahaGenCo’s that its power generation sets are not operational due to repairs/maintenance are “wrong”.

With an installed capacity of 9,540 MW, the MahaGenCo’s thermal electricity generating sets produce 7,275 MW, and the workers, engineers and officers are making all out efforts in the scorching heat to increase it to 8,000 MW, Sharma said.

The MSEWF has questioned the contentions of “non-availability” of coal in the country which is allegedly hampering power generation in at least 12 states – the worst-hit Maharashtra, besides Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, and to some extent in Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, and Assam.

“Despite abundant coal availability, the current situation has arisen due to the Centre’s policy on regulation and the shoddy working of the Union Energy Ministry, whereby even a week’s supply is not available. Instead of imports, there is a need for a Coal Policy with production targets and provision for railway wagons to transport the coal from the mines,” Sharma said.

Maharashtra alone needs more than 140,000 tonnes coal for its 27 sets, but presently hardly 110,000 tons is supplied, hampering the work of the thermal power plant sets that cannot work to produce electricity as per their full installed capacity, he said.

Another problem is the poor quality of coal with mud-stones mixed in it, leading to a shortfall in the calorific value necessary for power production, while the pollutants jam the boilers or damage equipment, which break down, and hit power generation.

Even the privatisation policy of mining with 43 coal blocks handed to private players has been a disaster as they are producing only 89 million tons – or, 16 per cent of India’s total 750 million ton production.

Added to this is the manner in which certain private companies in Maharashtra are functioning to the detriment of the consumers and in protest, the MSEWF workers had resorted to a two-day token strike on March 28-29, Sharma added.

Sharma rued how in these critical times the private companies are trying to give a bad name to MSEDCL when at least four of them are not even producing any power at all, adding to the consumers’ misery with long hours of load-shedding due to the shortall.

Meanwhile, as per Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and State Power Minister Dr. Nitin Raut’s recent statements, MSEDCL has been allowed to procure electricity from the open market and even toying with the idea of direct coal imports or getting a coal-mine allotted in Chhattisgarh, plus intensifying attempt to recover the unpaid bills arrears of around Rs 65,000 crore from the consumers.

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel April 27, 2022 18:08