Posted On Monday, May 28, 2012 at 09:03:07 AM
Consumers in the state have to pay Rs 2,500 crore for the import of coal for power generation. However, this expenditure is utterly unnecessary as enough quality coal is available on the domestic market. A social activist, Anil Wadpalliwar, has objected to this expenditure and written to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in this regard.
MSEGCL in a petition filed before the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has said that it will require Rs 2,500 crore more to purchase imported coal since domestic coal is not being supplied by Western Coalfields Limited (WCL). The MSEGCL has issued a veiled threat that it will be forced to close down some of its units, if permission is not granted.
For its 6,800 MW of installed thermal power capacity, MSEGCL requires about 45.59 MT of coal per annum. WCL supplies about 227.01 lakh tonnes annually to MSEGCL. The quota of the coal was allotted to MSEGCL at a very controlled price by the Union Ministry of Coal. Butit could not be made available due to disputes between these two entities because of which citizens had to pay Rs 1,100 crore more last year.
The reason behind the bickering was that MSEGCL could not lift 2.15 MT coal from WCL which the latter had asked to be lifted from the pit head. On the other hand, MSEGCL asked WCL to ensure coal transportation upto the railway sidings. A legal battle ensued which resulted in coal worth hundreds of crores lying unused.
D C Garg, chairman-managing director of WCL, refused to comment on the subject while Subrat Ratho, MD, MSEGCL, did not pick up the phone. However, Mahesh Aphale, information officer of the company said, “The subject is big and a grave one and we have to talk in detail.”