Fog holds up goods trains, coal supply for power plants

As the temperatures dip, the city is also struggling with power supply with the dense fog holds up trains carrying coal to power generating units across the country. Of the 90 coal-based power stations in India, 34 are critically low on stock.

For Delhi, this means a reduction of 1,000 MW power.

On Thursday, the maximum temperature was eight points below normal for this time of the year at 12.7 degree Celsius, while the minimum settled at 4.4 degree Celsius. Dense fog enveloped the city affecting rail, air and road traffic. Several goods trains are also running way behind schedule, resulting in shortage of coal at power generating plants including the Dadri unit.

There is a further reduction of 200 MW power to Delhi from Chandrapura since last week because of congestion in the transmission corridor. Compounding the effect is another snag in the auxiliary power transformer, DVC's Mejia Thermal Power Station Unit 7, which is generating 500 MW less (of which 320 MW is supplied to Delhi) since Thursday afternoon, sources said.

"There has been a coal shortage at the NTPC Dadri plants, resulting in a reduction of 300-500 MW of power to Delhi," a senior government official said.

Sources said over a third of the coal-based power plants are running on critical coal stocks, which means they do not have coal stock for more than seven days. Power distribution companies in Delhi said even though they had arranged sufficient power for the winter months, "parts of Delhi — particularly East, West and North — have been facing intermittent shedding (lasting over an hour at a time) for the past few days, due to unforeseen reasons".

Discom sources said they are carrying out rotational load-shedding to restrict overdrawing from the Northern Grid.

"Discoms buy power from various plants and NTPC is short of supply. NTPC said there is no coal to produce power. We have learnt that coal will soon reach production companies and the situation is likely to improve in a few days," Delhi's Power secretary Shakti Sinha told Newsline.

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