By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 11 Oct: Amidst reports of shortage of coal at thermal power plants across the country affecting power generation, sources have claimed that Uttarakhand is also among the states facing a crisis. It may be recalled that due to shortage of coal with the coalfired power generation units across the country power generation has been significantly affected. Due to the shortage of power, the prices of electricity have increased thrice in the past five days. Due to higher prices of power, sources claim that Uttarakhand Power Corporation has stopped buying from outside. As a result, the power shortage in Uttarakhand has shot up to 4 million units per day and this shortage is likely to go up to 6 million units in the coming days if the power prices continue to remain high at the national level. UPCL is now reportedly resorting to undeclared power cuts and is rostering supply now. Though, officially the UPCL staff claims that the power cut is due to maintenance works, but insiders admit to shortage of power due to an unofficial ban on purchase of power from companies from outside the state by the UPCL management. Till last week, electricity was available from the National Exchange ranging between Rs 5 and Rs 5.50 per unit. UPCL sources claim that now the price of electricity from the National Exchange ranges between Rs 15 and Rs 15.50 per unit, thus forcing the company to stop the purchase. This has led the power crisis in Uttarakhand to deepen with a shortage of over 4 million units per day. Sources admit that the shortage is being met through rostering and power cuts. However, UPCL had some time ago floated three tenders for power purchase and sources claim these had already been signed with the companies concerned. One of the tenderers will start supplying power to UPCL this week. This can bring some relief. It may be recalled that there is a demand of 41 million units of electricity per day in the state at present. About 36 to 37 million units of electricity is being made available daily from the state’s own power plants as well as other sources. The balance requirement needs to be met through power purchase from the National Exchange or through direct agreement with other generating companies.