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Power pangs warning

Ranchi, Aug. 17: Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) today warned of widespread load-shedding across its command areas owing to non-payment of power bills by Jharkhand Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (JUVNL) and hence, its inability to purchase coal.

A DVC news release said the power major was facing major funds constraint following dues at over Rs 8,000 crore pending against JUVNL.

“At present, DVC is not in a position to pay coal companies. Dues against supply of coal to DVC has already accumulated to Rs.1,403 crore. Besides, companies have recently adopted a cash-and-carry policy and, therefore, restricted supply to DVC. There is practically no reserve stock of coal for power generation,” the release said.

It warned that following coal crunch, power generation and supply had become “uncertain”, which may lead to “widespread load restrictions for all DVC consumers”.

In the state, DVC command areas are spread across Dhanbad, Bokaro, Hazaribagh, Koderma, Giridih, Chatra, Palamau, and Dumka.

“The DVC’s claim is not totally correct. A sum of Rs 3,000 crore is outstanding as on March 31 as per the financial restructuring plan approved by the Government of India. The plan was approved following the unbundling of Jharkhand State Electricity Board earlier this year,” said JUVNL chief S.N. Verma.

He added that the Centre was likely to release the corpus for JUVNL by the end of this month. “As soon as the fund of Rs 3,000 crore is received, it will be remitted to DVC’s account.”