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NEW DELHI : Home minister Amit Shan on Monday held a meeting with power minister RK Singh, coal minister Pralhad Joshi and railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to take stock of the power crisis and discuss steps to ease the situation.

The meeting comes against the backdrop of reports of power cuts across the country including the national capital. The Delhi government last week warned of possible power supply shortages to essential infrastructures such as the Delhi metro and hospitals over lack of coal.

The country is witnessing record power demand, which is set to rise even further during May. Data from the power ministry suggests that the peak power demand is expected to rise by 8% this month after power consumption rose nearly 14% in April.

Although the spike in demand resulted in fuel shortages at various power stations, triggering a crisis, the situation has somewhat calmed since Sunday after the heat conditions abated. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) expects the severity of the heat wave to reduce after 3 May in northern and central India.

The maximum power demand met on Sunday came down to 191,216 MW from a historic high of 207,111 MW on Friday. “The electricity demand is likely to remain elevated considering the heatwave, which along with the supply side constraints on coal are likely to keep the spot power tariffs high and lead to energy deficit in few states," Vikram V, Vice President & Sector Head, ICRA said.

A senior NTPC official said the fuel position with the generator this year had been better than last year and it is meeting all the requirements of power coming from states. But power cuts have been seen in several states because discoms there prefer outages to buying expensive power being produced on blended coal with dearer imported coal.

subhash.narayan@livemint.com

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