States opt to stay in dark rather than buy power & hike tariffs
SEBs, operating under political patronage, find it easier to opt for load shedding than buy power from the open market and pass the additional cost to the consumers through tariff increases.
Peak-hour electricity shortfalls in five states — Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu — during the April-November period were between 30% and 700% higher than the levels seen last year, according to data available with the Central Electricity Authority. These states account for three-fourths of the power sector losses, which are believed to have crossed R2 lakh crore.
Open market buys account for 10% of the total power purchases by SEBs, while the rest is sourced under loan-term power purchase agreements including from plants run by the boards themselves.
Among these states, Punjab reported the highest incidence of load shedding, with its peak hour power deficit increasing by seven times during the period. This was followed by Haryana, where the deficit nearly trebled. Tamil Nadu and Karnataka also saw a doubling of their deficits. During the same period, Uttar Pradesh saw its electricity deficit going from 10.5% to 13.6% — a 30% jump.
Madhya Pradesh was the only state to report a decline in its
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