Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister H.D.Kumaraswamy on Wednesday wrote a letter to union minister for railways and coal, Piyush Goyal, expressing concern over the shortage of coal supply to the state’s thermal power plants.

According to Kumaraswamy, the Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS), with a capacity of 1720 MW, has ‘zero coal stock’ at present as it has been short supplied by around 6 lakh metric tonnes (MT). Of the eight units at RTPS, only four have been operational due to the shortage in supply.

“I have requested Hon’ble Coal Minister of Union Govt Piyush Goyalji to make good this deficit from Mahanadi Coal Fields(MCL). I even requested the Hon’ble Minister that in the coming days WCL shall ensure supply of FSA quantity in full for sustainable power generation in Karnataka," Kumaraswamy said on Twitter.

Karnataka, which is home to some of the biggest industries and software conglomerates, has often grappled with power shortages that is mostly felt by the over 40 million farming community and smaller cities, who get only a few hours of electricity every day.

Karnataka’s energy secretary P.Ravikumar said that of the 23,000mt of coal required per day, the state is getting about 15mt, under the fuel supply agreement (FSA). Thermal and hydel power generation, which generate about 50 million units (mu) and 31mu respectively, are the two main sources of electricity in Karnataka, which has a total daily power generation capacity of about 207.223mu.

RTPS gets most of its coal from the Nagpur-based Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL). Karnataka’s energy department officials say that there has been a deficit of over 50% in supplies since April.

Though power generation is not expected to be hit, the mandatory 15-day buffer stock is completely depleted in RTPS and steadily declining in the other two thermal power plants in Karnataka, said the officials. RTPS generated only 566MW as against the installed capacity of 1720MW on Wednesday.

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