Power shortage in Maharashtra is the result of wrong policies of the central government

Press Release of Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation (MSEWF)

(English translation of Marathi Press Note)

Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation

Press Note, Nagpur 23.04.2022

Power shortage is a crisis of policy!
The load-shedding crisis is due to the insufficient supply of coal

To fulfil the demand for electricity of the 2 crore 89 lakh consumers and people of Maharashtra, the current demand in the state is 28,276 Mega Watt (MW). Today the total production capacity of the Mahanirmiti (also called MahaGenCo) Company is 12,972 MW. In addition to this, the installed capacity in Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai) is 5785 MW from private companies, 5952 MW from the center, and 8140 MW from non-traditional sources, which amounts to a total of 32,849 MW. The demand is of 28,276 MW.

Mahanirmiti Company has 27 sets to generate electricity from coal. To date if out of these 27 sets we set aside only one from Nashik as an exception, 26 sets are generating power. In the next two days the Nashik set will also start generation. The statement that the sets of Mahanirmiti Company are not operational due to maintenance and repair, is wrong. No set is off for this reason. While the installed capacity is 9,540 MW, the thermal electricity generating sets of Mahanirmiti are producing 7275 MW, and the workers, engineers and officers are making all out efforts in this terrible heat to raise it to 8000 MW.

Import is not a solution

There is plenty of coal available in the country. This situation is due to the policy of the central government as well as the shoddy working of the Central Energy Ministry. When there is availability in the country, import is neither appropriate nor worthy of support. The solution is a Policy on Coal, the aim of production and the special provision of railway wagons for transporting coal. Forgetting what is ours and running after someone else (importing) should be given up.

To generate electricity from the 27 sets, the power generating company of Maharashtra needs at least 1,40,000 metric tons of coal. However, today the daily availability of coal is merely 1,10,000 metric tons. This means that there is a shortfall of 30,000 metric tons, due to which the thermal electricity generating sets cannot work and produce at their full installed capacity.

Besides this, the coal supplied to electricity generating centres is substandard. There are mud and stones mixed with it. That is why there is a shortfall in the calorific value necessary for electricity generation. The mud and stones also enter the boilers and damage the equipment, which in turn affects production.
Due to the wrong coal policy of the Central Government, it has created an electricity generating crisis not just in Maharashtra but in 12 states in the country.

The crisis is due to a wrong policy.

Though there is a plentiful reserve of coal in the country, the thermal power stations do not get stock for seven days. The reason for this is the central policy that regulates the coal industry at the national level. This indicates that the natural resources of the country are not regulated correctly. We do not increase coal production, we fall short in supplying wagons for transporting coal. This is not a natural shortfall but the failure of the policy. With the privatisation policy of the central government, it handed over the mining and production of coal in 43 blocks to private companies. These private companies have totally failed and their coal production is limited to 89 million tonnes.

The amount of coal mined and produced in the country is 750 million tonnes. 16% of this is of private companies. However, all these private companies have not been able to meet the production target and their production is limited to 89 million tonnes. That is why there is a shortage of coal and this is an example of the failure of the policy.

The workers toil in coal in 43 degrees heat.

The employees, engineers and officers of the MahaGenCo thermal power stations are striving hard in terrible heat as well as the fire and heat produced by the boilers to maximize electricity production. That is why production has been possible even with old sets.

The private electricity companies have their eyes on Mahavitaran (Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd., MSEDCL)

The installed capacity of Adani Power in Maharashtra is 2860 MW. According to the contract with Mahavitaran, it is obliged to supply 2100 MW; however, it is supplying merely 1765 MW. Adani Power has lodged a claim of Rs. 20,000 crore on Mahavitaran. In these times of power shortage, it wants to give a bad name to Mahavitaran in an effort to grab from it Thane, Raigad and Navi Mumbai that adjoin Mumbai. Of the electricity producing companies, the four private companies, Ideal Company, Ratan India, Nashik, REL, Butibori and Pioneer are not producing any electric at all.

Purchase of expensive electricity to avoid load shedding.

Trying to prevent the people of Maharashtra from suffering under load shedding, and make up for the shortfall of 1800 MW, Mahavitaran has been buying expensive electricity in the open market. Electricity consumers owe Rs. 65,000 crore to Mahavitaran as arrears. In this difficult situation, it is trying to regulate load shedding.

Mohan Sharma,

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