New Delhi: Due to strenuous efforts of the state government led by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, the Union government has agreed to waive off the mandatory RSR (Rail-Sea-Rail) condition for coal supply from Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) to Talwandi Sabo Power Limited.

The Chief Minister, who called on the Union Power Minister here at his office today, thanked him for waiving off the mandatory RSR (Rail-Sea-Rail) condition for coal supply. Bhagwant Mann had raised this issue with the Power Minister during a meeting on December 9, 2022 and had also written to him in this regard. He said that the Union Minister had apprised him that as far as transport of coal is concerned, the Government of India does not specify any particular route or port and transport is entirely the responsibility of the concerned States / Generators adding that additional coal can be allotted to Punjab from MCL and if Punjab can transport it through any other mode, it is welcome to do so.

Flagging another issue, the Chief Minister urged RK Singh to augment supply of coal from Pachhwara Coal mine. He said that the case for enhancing coal supply from captive coal mines at Pachhwara (Central) for is currently pending with the Ministry of Coal. Bhagwant Mann said that the Ministry of Power has already forwarded the case to the Ministry of Coal with positive recommendations and the matter is reportedly referred by Ministry of Coal to Ministry of Law for legal vetting adding he sought the intervention of Union Power Minister for expediting the matter.

The Chief Minister also urged RK Singh to ask Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for procurement of 3000 MW of Renewable Energy-Round the Clock (RE-RTC) power for the state. He said that the PSPCL had communicated its in-principle approval to SECI in August 2022 to procure 3000 MW of RE-RTC power. Bhagwant Mann said that Punjab and Madhya Pradesh have complementarity in power demand and SECI was working on a joint proposal.

However, the Chief Minister said that due to non-finalization of the standard bidding document, SECI has not been able to proceed forward in this regard. Bhagwant Mann said that due to this matter has been hanging in fire since long. He requested the Union Minister to intervene so that the Ministry may finalise the issue early so that SECI can take steps for procurement of RE-RTC power for the State.

Demanding allocation of power from Coal Based Central Sector Generating Stations (CGS) to PSPCL, the Chief Minister apprised RK Singh that there has been sharp increase in power demand since January due to failure of winter rains in Punjab. He said that it is also expected that the trend of sharp rise in demand shall also continue during the harvesting season in fiscal year 2023-24. Bhagwant Mann said that Punjab had met a peak power demand of 14,300 MW during the last paddy season and the Ministry of Power had sanctioned unallocated power from Central Sector Generation Stations to Punjab during June to September 2022. He said that the state government is duty bound to ensure that there is no shortage of power during the ensuing summer and paddy season.

The Chief Minister said that this year the peak power demand of the state is expected to touch 15,500 MW. Therefore, he said that in order to meet demand in excess of 15,000 MW and to meet the additional requirement necessitated by paddy, the state needs assistance from the Ministry of Power for allocating power from its unallocated pool. Bhagwant Mann solicited the intervention of the Union Power Minister in this regard as the CMD PSPCL has already requested Secretary, Power (GoI) for allocating power from unallocated share of central sector plants to Punjab.

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