Parts of Maharashtra are likely to face power load-shedding in the coming days in view of the rise in electricity demand, Power Minister Chandrashekhar Bavankule has said. The load-shedding is likely to coincide with the upcoming festive season. The average requirement in this season is generally about 16,000 MW.
But this time, due to the rise in demand, the actual requirement is around 20,000 MW, Bavankule told PTI. “There is no power shortage but in some areas recovery of electricity bills from consumers is very low. So, the department has decided to reduce power supply in those areas as a measure to force consumers to pay their bills,” he said.
The minister, however, did not specify which parts of the state will face load-shedding. “On power supply worth Rs 100, the return is only Rs 27. This has led to recovery of around Rs 30,000 crore lying pending and we cannot give more time to defaulters.
Hence, we have to cut power supply in some areas,” he said. Power trading takes place on a daily basis and the prices are rising because of the increased demand. “We have to purchase power at rates like Rs 7.50 and Rs 8 per unit. If we continue to buy power at such high rates, we need to have good recovery as well, otherwise it will put financial stress (on power utilities),” Bavankule said.
Deficient rainfall in the state has also affected power generation from dams, a source in the department said. Most of the major dams are filled below their capacity and a sizable amount of water has to be reserved for drinking and irrigation purposes, he said. Thermal power stations in the state also have low coal reserves.
Asked about the availability of coal, Bavankule said, “Ideally, every thermal power generation unit should have coal stock for 20 days, but we are currently having stock for three to four days.”