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Coal dip threatens Ranchi blackout

Ranchi, Dec. 18: The Jharkhand State Electricity Board today forecast dark days ahead for the state.

If falling coal stocks were not replenished with “quality” coal in four days, the state would be plunged into darkness, the board said.

According to board officials, the coal stock at Patratu Thermal Power Station dipped to the “danger level” of 40,000 metric tonnes this morning.

Without a quick refill, the station would be forced to shut down operations, they said.

Since December 10, Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL), Ranchi, has failed to supply “quality” coal to the station, the officials said. This has put at risk power generation at the Patratu station, located in Hazaribagh.

Electrical superintending engineer P.N. Choudhary was forced to reject a rake of coal that arrived at the station because it was unfit for use, the board officials said. Board chairman Rajiv Ranjan has sent an SOS to the CCL chairman-cum-managing director.

According to Ranjan, the coal received from CCL’s Saunda colliery on December 10 was of “substandard quality, not suitable for use in PTPS (Patratu station) boilers”. He said the rake was mostly “white stone boulders and soil-mixed coal”.

He further pointed out that the central Saunda colliery was an “unlinked” source and CCL was supposed to supply coal from the N.K. Area, “the linked source”.

Ranjan has demanded immediate supply of at least two rakes to the Patratu station, on top priority. He has warned that without fresh stock, the board would be forced to shut down all power generating units at Patratu.

According to board sources, the minimum coal stocks retained at the Patratu station was around 1 lakh metric tonnes.

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