New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala is likely to impose power cuts in the wake of the severe shortage of coal material experienced in the country, said state Minister for Electricity, K Krishnankutty.
Kerala's share from the Centre has dropped by 1,000 megawatts and as the coal crisis is unlikely to be resolved sooner, the state has no other option, the minister said.
About 70 per cent of India's power generation is based on coal. Of the total 135 thermal power stations in the country, there is currently an acute coal shortage in 110 stations. It is estimated that the coal crisis would continue for another six months' time.
The power sector in Kerala is also going to feel the pinch. Though Kerala is largely dependent on hydro-electric projects for the generation of electricity, there is chance of the State getting reduced power allocation from the Central pool owing to the coal crisis. There is also the possibility of Kerala facing a reduction in power quota being received from other sources on the basis of long-term contracts.
Though there is a reduction of 300 megawatt electricity in the purchase of power from outside the State, no restrictions have been imposed on power distribution in Kerala.
But if the consumption increases, the State Government may think of enforcing restrictions on power supply.
Kerala bought power for Rs.17-18 in the last few days. The situation is such that even though the State Government is willing to pay, there is no availability of power for purchase during peak hours.
The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has asked the consumers to reduce power consumption to the maximum level.
Another major worry for consumers is that if the KSEB buys power from outside for exorbitant prices, they will have to pay the amount as surcharge later.