Coal Shortage : Power crisis looms in Bokaro, Dhanbad

coal# Coal stock completely exhausted at BPSCL, unit failing to keep pace with the demand producing 80 – 90 MW instead of 200 MW as coal crisis pertains to them, said MK Dhan COC BSL.

Prolong intermittent power cuts cripple lives, hits commercial trading and industrial productions in Bokaro Steel City and Dhanbad the coal capital of Jharkhand. A power crisis owing to alleged ‘coal shortage’ looms over the twin districts. Bokaro and Dhanbad are heading for an acute power supply as thermal power stations that are supplying electricity are having a huge shortage of coal, official sources informed.

The coal stock completely exhausted at Bokaro Power Supply Company Private Limited (BPSCL) unit failing to keep pace with the demand producing 80 – 90 MW instead of 200 MW as coal crisis pertains to them, official sources said. “Two boilers at BPSCL is shutdown since past twelve days, presently the thermal unit is running by the coal reaching here every day,” he added.

Amidst power crisis production at Bokaro Steel Plant (BSL) are normal, said MK Dhan COC BSL. “Bokaro Steel needs 320 MW power supply including 200 for running the plant and 120 MW for the township area. Presently BPSCL is producing only 100 MW power instead of 180 MW due to coal crisis but we are compensating our productions by taking extra power from DVC,” he added.
Coal crisis also hits the power production at Tenughat Thermal Power Plant (TTPS –A government of Jharkhand undertaking unit). The first unit of the plant is complete shuts down since past 68 days ( from 16 April) due to the scarcity of Coal while the second unit is running less than half of its production capacity, official sources informed.

The coal stock is completely exhausted in the yard, unit one is shut down since last 65 days due to lack of coal, said Sanatan Singh MD in-charge TVNL. “Presently we could not speak that when this unit will be started as we could not start productions without having enough stock of coal,” he added. We are facing tough time; “If we will not get coal within a couple of days, the second
unit will also go down”. Though, to meet the coal requirement our talks are ‘on’ with the Coal India Limited (CCL); hope the issue would be solved in next 4-5 days, said Singh.

TVNL is the only thermal power unit of the Jharkhand government having power production capacity of 420 MW (210 X 2) now producing only 180 MW per day and several parts of the district are reeling under an acute power crisis. Both units require 7,500 metric tonnes of coal per day to run in full swing. TTPS purchases coal from Coal India for generation of power but suddenly CCL stopped the supply of coal, sources informed. “It might be due to huge dues against the purchase of Coal form CCL. Now Coal India is opted cash and carry option, which does not allow coal
supply on credit hits power production,” sources added.

Meanwhile continued power outages since past 15 days across the twin districts are adversely affecting the domestic industrial production, said Vinod Kumar a local industrialist of Balidih. The erratic power supply has severely hit production activities, affected the industrial belts located in the outskirts the towns. Most of the small and medium industrial units could not start production due to frequent tripping during past fifteen days.

According to an estimate, a 24 hours power cuts incurs a loss of approximately Rs 10 crore, and pushes back the progress by two months”, told Raj Kumar an industrialist at Bokaro Industrial Area Development Authority (BIADA). The erratic power supply also affected our trading businesses, which may fall by 60 percent in past day, said Bipin shop owners at City Centre sector 4 in Bokaro Steel City. “Now we will have to depend on power generators and invertors”, they added. Power cuts have not only affected the production and business but absence of continuous supply has had an adverse impact on the study of the school going children.

Aggrieved by acute power crisis in Dhanbad for over a fortnight, people including political and social workers came out on street, took out a candle march to protest. The problem of the residents has compounded due to intense heat this summer followed by water scarcity in the absence of electricity. Meanwhile, residents have to bear the sweltering heat in the absence of air conditioners and coolers this summer; excessive use of diesel generators has also burnt a hole in their pockets owing to the high cost of fuel, said Ashok a resident of Bharat Ekta Co-operative in Bokaro.

Life has turned into a hell due to soaring mercury and poor power scenario. There are prolonged power cuts for 14-16 hours every day in most parts of the twin districts.

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