The Modi government cannot run away from its responsibility and blame states for all the problems in the country, he added.
He said 16 states in the country are forced to have daily power cuts of up to 10 hours and power stations with 72,074 MW capacity are not operating due to non-availability of coal even though there is no shortage of it.
He also claimed that 106 of the total 173 power plants are having less than 25 per cent of their usual reserve and states are being forced to buy power as high as Rs 12 per MW.
Vallabh said the ministries of power, coal and railways should sit together and find a solution to the current crisis. These ministries are not doing their job properly, leading to this situation, he alleged.
The Congress leader claimed that industrial production is also being hit due to the power crisis.
“This power crisis is artificial and is due to the poor governance and poor management in coal distribution. This is purely misgovernance,” he said at a press conference.
“Why are these power plants not operating. Why are states being forced to buy power at Rs 12 per MW. Against the daily demand of 22 lakh tonnes of coal, why only 16 lakh tonnes are being supplied. What is the government’s plan to cater to the peak power demand and resolve the current power crisis,” he also asked.
Vallabh said the Modi government cannot run away from its responsibility and blame the states for all the problems in the country.
“If the states are to be blamed for everything, then what is the central government’s job,” he asked.
“We demand that the artificial power crisis due to the mismanagement of coal supply is resolved soon,” he said, noting that even a state like Jharkhand which has coal mines is facing over 17.5 per cent shortage of power.
The Congress leader said Rajasthan is facing power shortage of 9.6 per cent, Uttar Pradesh 9 per cent, Haryana 7.7 per cent and Uttarakhand 7.6 per cent.
Vallabh asked if the government is claiming that there is no shortage of coal in the country, then why are states like Uttar Pradesh are supplying power for only four hours everyday.
“If the situation today is so bad, what will happen when there is peak demand in the country,” he asked.
The demand for power is expected to rise further in coming days as the weather department has predicted that heatwave sweeping through the country will intensify.
Citing figures, the Congress leader claimed that against a power demand of 16,035 MW on Friday morning at 10.45 AM, the total power available for supply was only 2,304 MW and that too at Rs 12 per MW.