Power outages: BJP and Congress blame each other as India’s power outages worsen

With electricity demand rising by the day and power disruptions reported from several states, Congress and the BJP are blaming each other for the power crisis.

The district is heading for a collapse on the power front because the center is unable to ship the coal it needs from mines to power plants, Congress said Friday. It says 16 states are already experiencing power outages of about 10 hours a day, affecting both residential customers and industrial units, and this is likely to get worse in the coming months as summer peaks.

Rajasthan Premier Ashok Gehlot described the situation as a “national crisis” and said demand for electricity has increased in 16 states due to rising mercury levels and coal is not being supplied in line with demand. He urged the people of Rajasthan to rationalize electricity consumption.

“This is a national crisis. I appeal to everyone to unite in this crisis and to support the (state) government in improving the situation. Turn off non-essential electrical devices in your home or workplace. Set your priorities and harness the power according to your needs,” Gehlot said in a Hindi tweet, though he accused the BJP of being political on the matter.

The All India Congress Committee dedicated the media briefing to the shortage of coal supplies and spokesman Gaurav Vallabh cited official data to explain the situation. “As of 10:45 a.m. Friday morning, the power demand on the power exchanges was 16,035 MW and the power supply on these exchanges was only 2,304 MW, and that too at 12 rupees per unit megawatt. This is because power plants with a capacity of 72,074 MW are currently not in operation because they do not have the equivalent amount of coal.”

Meanwhile, the Center and the BJP blame state government mismanagement. Union Energy Minister RK Singh told media on Thursday that the complaining states have huge outstanding bills and are resorting to load shedding rather than buying power.

He added that electricity is available at the price of Rs 12 per unit on electricity exchanges but none of the states are buying it. He also said there is enough fuel to run power plants.

Union coal minister Prahlad Joshi was in Jharkhand on a two-day trip from Thursday. He said coal was not to blame for the electricity shortage, but rather rising prices for other fuels and imported coal. Jharkhand is facing a maximum power outage of 17 percent and the state BJP unit blames the state government. “This is a complete failure of the state government that today Jharkhand is the state with the greatest power deficit in the country,” Deepak Prakash, Jharkhand BJP President, told ET.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/bjp-congress-blame-each-other-as-power-outages-worsen-in-india/articleshow/91190134.cms Power outages: BJP and Congress blame each other as India’s power outages worsen

Jaclyn Diaz

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