According to India’s Central Electricity Authority (CEA), 32 of the country’s 89 thermal power stations have less than four days’ worth of coal stocks and 15 have under a week’s supply.

Heavy rain in recent weeks has flooded several mines, disrupting the flow of coal to power plants in many states, with Tamil Nadu one of the worst hit. Even New Delhi has suffered power cuts due to plants being forced to run on reduced capacity.

However a CEA official today played down its own coal stock figures. The unnamed official told Indian news service IBN: “It is nothing new. Before 2005, we used to even have stocks for well over a month. With the huge increase in demand, all the states – not just Tamil Nadu – have difficulties in getting their entitlements.”

He added that the CEA was “confident we will have seven days’ stock at the very least, though we plan for 10-day inventory”.

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