New Delhi: Coal stock position at thermal power plants remains critical as more than half of the generating stations have less than a week’s fuel stock.

As per the latest data (29 September) by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), 56 coal-based power plants reported critical fuel stocks of less than seven days.

As many as 11 power stations were left with nil stocks on the day, the data said.

Of the 56 stations, 33 had less than four days of stockpiles. These 33 stations include 10 power stations run by country’s leading thermal power producer NTPC.

National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd. (NTPC) plants include Indira Gandhi thermal power station in Haryana, Rihand, Singrauli, Tanda and Unchahar plants in Uttar Pradesh, Korba and Sipat (Chhattisgarh), Farakka and Durgapur (West Bengal) and Kahalgaon in Bihar.

As per the reasons given by CEA, all the power projects of NTPC and most of the 11 stations (with nil stocks) received less supplies from Coal India during the period.

Ministry of Coal, last week, reviewed the situation and said that the government will address the issue.

Power and coal minister Piyush Goyal had said during the first quarter of the current financial year (April to June) the coal materialisation to the power sector was 87%.

The minister had said that shortage of supplies was on account of less supply of wagons and transportation constraints.

According to an official, the coal production at the mines of Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL), Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL) and Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL) is likely to improve only post the festive season.

Land acquisition problems, delays in getting environment and forest clearances and bottlenecks in coal transportation through railways have time and again affected fuel stocks at thermal power stations, he said.