Light at the end of tunnel

 Coal-based power plants are going through a tumultuous phase and struggling to meet with daily demand. Many plants are forced to run at a lower capacity due to inadequate supply of coal. Now, with the government’s decision to auction 101 coal blocks in-line with the Supreme Court’s directive is expected to bring cheers, especially for the country’s fuel-starved power industry.
In September last year, the Supreme Court had scrapped the allocation of 204 out of 218 coal blocks to various companies since 1993 terming the whole process ‘illegal’. Later, the Cabinet approved re-promulgation of the coal ordinance and necessary guidelines for mine allocations.
Experts feel that it is as a consequence of coal ordinance that has enabled us to go ahead with the auction. Otherwise coal block auctions could not have possible. The government is confident of completing the allocation process for these 42 coal blocks by 31st of March. It is understood that auctioning of coal blocks would help ease uncertainty among the thermal power plants.
In addition, in order to bring reforms in the power sector and safeguard consumer interest, the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2014, which aims to bring reforms in the power sector and safeguard consumer interest, was introduced in Parliament recently. This amendment is expected to promote competition, efficiency in operations and improvement in quality of supply of electricity.
Also, to meet the increasing need of coal for power generation and reduce import, the government has decided to double the production capacity of state-owned Coal India from the present 500 million tonnes this year to a billion tonnes by 2020.
All these positive decisions are expected to come in to the rescue of fuel-starved power industry.

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