Giving an indication of the fuel shortage in the country, Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal Monday said 22 coal-based power plants monitored by Central Electricity Authority (CEA) had stocks to last less than four days as of last week."As on 29th July, out of the coal-based power stations monitored on daily basis by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), 22 power plants are having coal stock less than four days," Goyal informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.The minister cited deficient monsoons as a major reason for low coal stocks at power plants."Due to deficient monsoon, hydro generation has reduced considerably, thus requiring enhanced generation from coal-based stations. Due to this, coal requirement has increased," Goyal said.
"Thus during June, 2014 there was a record growth of 20.35 percent in coal-based generation as compared to last year during the same month," he added. Meanwhile, state miner Coal India (CIL) achieved an output of 33.1 million tonnes (MT) in July as against the target of 35.80 MT, the company said in a filing Monday to the BSE.In the first four months of the current fiscal, the company's production was 141.34 MT, while the target for the period was 148.81 MT.In the situation of fuel shortages, the government has advised power producers to import 54 MT of coal in the current fiscal. Import of coal in the last fiscal was 168.44 MT, while in 2012-13 the country imported 145.785 MT of the fuel.