Amid the raging coal and power shortage, the Union ministry of coal has sent a fresh reminder to the Maharashtra Government directing MahaGenco to immediately clear dues of Rs 2,615 crore as on September end towards coal procurement from Coal India and subsidiaries.
Coal Ministry additional secretary Vivek Kumar Dewangan, in a recent letter to the state energy department principal secretary Dinesh Waghmare, has said, ''Looking at the critical coal stocks at power plants, I would again request you to direct MahaGenco to clear the outstanding dues of coal companies in a time bound manner, so that there is no regulation of coal supply from Coal India end.’’
The Free Press Journal is in possession of Dewangan’s letters addressed to Waghmare.
Dewangan had shot off letters to Waghmare in August and September while he had a telephonic conversation on Tuesday, asking him to issue directions to MahaGenco for early clearance of dues of Rs 2,615 crore to Coal India and its subsidiaries. Incidentally, apart from Maharashtra, state generation companies from Uttar Pradesh (Rs 2,743.1 crore), Tamil Nadu (Rs 1,281.7 crore) and Rajasthan (Rs 774 crore) also have to still clear their long pending arrears to Coal India and subsidiaries.
‘’We are witnessing a sharp increase in demand for electricity. As coal-based thermal plants bear the burden of most of the power demand, we need to ensure that there is adequate coal stock available at the power stations. At present, coal supply is not commensurate with the consumption of coal. As a result, coal stock at thermal power stations is depleting at a fast rate,’’ cautioned Dewangan in his letters to Waghmare.
He further said, ''It was also brought to you notice that MahaGenco has an outstanding of Rs 2,615 crore towards coal companies. The issue of payment of dues which have piled up at the MahaGenco end has been flagged by the Ministry of Coal and Coal India many times.’’ He has made it clear that Coal India and its subsidiaries may have to regulate the coal supply to MahaGenco if arrears were not cleared at the earliest.
Meanwhile, MahaGenco, which is struggling to meet the power demand amid fall in coal supply, has been pursuing with the state distribution company MahaVitaran for an early clearance of dues of a record Rs 11,000 crore towards power purchase. MahaVitaran is reeling under deep financial crisis because of rising arrears of its consumers, which are now pegged at Rs 73,879 crore; the liabilities are of Rs 45,440 crore.