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No need to import coal

NAGPUR: The Union ministry of power made a startling claim that coal import was not necessary owing to improved generation and availability, thus exposing the Mahagenco which was importing costly coal.

An affidavit in this regard was filed in the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court last week by deputy director in Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Neerja Verma. A division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Swapna Joshi asked the Mahagenco to reply on the ministry's claims.

The court was hearing a PIL by activist Anil Wadpalliwar through counsel Shreerang Bhandarkar contending that due to the ongoing tussle between WCL and Mahagenco, all consumers are unnecessarily forced to shell out more for power supply. He also claimed that steep hike in the generation cost is due to short supply of domestic coal and import of costly coal by the power utilities.

During the last hearing, the court asked Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to inform on progress and action taken in alleged multi-crore scam in supply of coal.

Earlier, the ministry stated that domestic coal availability in the power plants has been improved in country during last two to three years. As a result, the import of coal by power plants required for blending with t domestic coal has declined during last two years.

"Due to initiative of ministry and Coal India Limited (CIL) for substitution of imported coal with the domestic ones since last year, no programme of import is being given by CEA. The CIL had also organized one-to-one interaction with power generators to devise customized strategy as per suitability of each power station. It had already started supplying domestic coal against the earlier requirement of imported coal for many power plants," Verma said.

She added Mahagenco may apply for coal linkage under 'New Coal Allocation Policy -2017' which is a scheme for harnessing and allocation of coal in India issued by the ministry of coal under the policy which is for the central/state government generation companies (GENCOS). As per Clause B (i) of SHATI policy, CIL/SCCL may grant linkage to central/ state government utilities based on the recommendation of ministry of power.

Source- Times Of India

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