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In the assembly: TN to buy 4.8L tonnes of coal to tackle shortage

The state government as part of its efforts to handle coal shortage and provide uninterrupted supply of power has decided to procure 4.8 lakh tonnes of coal, said Electricity Minister V Senthilbalaji on Monday.

In the assembly: TN to buy 4.8L tonnes of coal to tackle shortage
Electricity Minister V Senthilbalaji and MLA Udhayanidhi Stalin inaugurating a renovated power distribution unit in Triplicane on Monday

Chennai: Informing this in the Assembly, the Minister said, “Tenders for procuring 4.8 lakh metric tonnes of coal will be floated in another two or three days. The state requires 72,000 metric tonnes (MT) of coal per day and we receive 48,000 MT to 50,000 MT per day.”

He was responding to a special calling attention motion on the unscheduled outage moved by members of AIADMK, Congress, PMK, CPM and CPI.

Former electricity minister P Thangamani said that unannounced power cuts were reported across the state and this has been affecting farmers and industrialists. If power cut timings are announced in advance damage to motors and machines can be averted.

Thangamani also said that in summer there will be a shortage in power due to which there will be outage and the coal shortage will be the reason for it. The government should address the issue of coal shortage and unannounced outage.

CPI MLA K Marimuthu cautioned that this period is examination time and students will suffer a lot due to power cuts.

Senthilbalaji, in his reply, said that the peak power demand this year was 17,196 MW on March 29 and according to the estimate, there will be a shortage of 2,500 MW this year. To manage the shortage, the state government has gone for mid-term purchase for April and May as a total of 3,047 MW has been purchased for April and 3,007 MW will be purchased for May.

The state is purchasing power at Rs 2.61 per unit from Solar Energy Corporation of India and 1,500 MW from NLC at the rate of Rs 3.04 per unit. “For a total shortage of 2,500 MW, the state government will purchase 3,500 MW and so there will be no unannounced outages in the state,” added Senthilbalaji.

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