India’s Central Electricity Authority claims that political red tape is hampering the country’s coal supply and warns that a serious shortfall is looming.

A draft report due to be presented to India’s government forecasts that coal imports are due to rocket from 54 million tonnes this year to 213 million tonnes in 2016/17.

It says the country will rely on imports because legislation covering land acquisitions and mining and tariff subsidies are hampering India’s own coal production industry.

According to Reuters, the report states: “Availability of coal for the coal-based thermal power stations is a matter of concern. The Ministry of Coal needs to be impressed upon to formulate a contingency plan to meet the demands of the power sector.”

India’s coal problems have been compounded in recent weeks by industrial action at mines and severe flooding, which has closed operations and railways. Many areas, including New Delhi, have suffered blackouts as power plants have had to wind down capacity.