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Power crisis alarm in Punjab

New Delhi, Nov. 25 (PTI): Punjab may be headed for a power crisis as its largest coal supplier has warned of disruption in supplies due to an agitation led by former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi.

Panem Coal Mines Limited, which mines about 7MT coal from Pachuara in Pakur for Punjab’s power plants, has warned of supplies stopping due to the agitation.

“The situation has now become extremely critical and we are afraid that if the issue is not resolved immediately, the supply of coal to the power stations of Punjab State Power Corp Ltd shall be affected very badly for days to come,” company director Bikash Mukherjee wrote to the corporation on November 21.

Marandi is on a dharna demanding rehabilitation of people affected by Panem.

“They have blocked the approach road to the mines, resulting in total disruption of transportation from mines to the railway siding at Pakur (since November 16),” Mukherjee wrote. “Movement of all required items inward and outward from the mine has come to a grinding halt.”

The distance from the mines to the railway siding that ships coal to power plants in Punjab, is 55km, he said, adding the company was now managing from its buffer stock.

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