The Delhi administration has warned of a possible delay in providing uninterrupted energy to vital institutions in the capital, including Metro trains and hospitals, as a result of a worsening coal shortage.
Satyendar Jain, the Delhi Power Minister, convened an emergency meeting to review the situation and wrote to the Centre, urging that sufficient coal be made available to power plants supplying electricity to the national capital.
"There may be an issue in 24-hour power supply to various vital institutions, including Delhi Metro and Delhi government hospitals, due to disruption of power supply from Dadri-II and Unchahar power stations," a government statement stated.
These power plants currently meet 25-30% of Delhi's electricity demand, and they are experiencing a coal scarcity, according to Mr Jain.
He stated that the administration was closely watching the situation and was doing all necessary to ensure that people in various parts of the capital would not experience power disruptions.
"These power plants are critical in preventing blackouts in some parts of Delhi, as well as ensuring the uninterrupted supply of electricity to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, hospitals, and the general public during the next summer season," the minister stated.
The Dadri-II and Jhajjar (Aravali) power plants of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) were built largely to supply Delhi's power needs. Even at these power facilities, however, there is very little coal left, according to the statement.
Delhi receives 1,751 megawatts (MW) of electricity per day from the Dadri-II, Unchahar, Kahalgaon, Farakka, and Jhajjar power plants. The Dadri-II power station provides the capital with the maximum supply of 728 MW, while the Unchahar station provides 100 MW.
According to the National Power Portal's daily coal report, all of these power stations are experiencing a severe coal shortage.
This, combined with the hot summer, has resulted in blackouts in several regions of the country as governments struggle to keep up with the surge in electrical demand.
Apart from increasing coal supplies to power plants, the Union government has advised states to increase imports over the next three years in order to build up inventories.
According to the All India Power Engineers Federation, thermal plants across the country are experiencing coal shortages, signalling a coming power crisis.