Gear up for frequent blackouts this summer. The power situation in Haryana, particularly in the two industrial towns of Gurgaon and Faridabad, is likely to get worse.
The Haryana Power Utilities, which are anticipating a shortfall of roughly 35 lakh units to 100 lakh units per day in the next few months, have begun imposing power cuts of up to three hours in most urban areas of the state. "These could go up to 6-8 hours in urban areas during the peak summer months when the demand for power from the agriculture sector picks up for sowing of paddy", officials told Hindustan Times.
In the villages too, the scheduled power supply has been limited to roughly 13 hours, including five hours of three-phase supply, everyday. But these are still early days. And the rural areas may have to go without power for longer hours between June and August when the gap between power demand and availability increases. The power outages have already started causing resentment. A group of farmers complained to Agriculture Minister Harmohinder Singh Chatha about the power-cuts when he visited the Anaj Mandi (grain market) in Ambala today.
The state's power requirement has been projected at 766 lakh units against availability of roughly 730 lakh units next month. In the months of June and July, the demand has been projected at 877 lakh units and 902 lakh units against availability of roughly 822 lakh units and 826 lakh units respectively. In August, the requirement is expected to shoot up to 930 lakh units whereas only 821 lakh units of eletricity are likely to be available, according to projections made by the state utilities.
Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Power, Ashok Lavasa said that though 10 per cent more power would be supplied between April and August 2007 as compared to the corresponding period last year, the demand had shot up by about eight per cent in most parts of the state. In Gurgaon and Faridabad districts however, the demand is up by more than 12 per cent. "Arrangements are being made for short-term power to meet the rising demand. We had also banked power with Maharastra, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka when the power demand in our state was low. They will give it back to us," he said.
Besides, the state is expected to overdraw roughly 20 lakh units from the grid, depending on the grid frequency. DHBVN managing director Vijayendra Kumar said the availability of power would be monitored on a regular basis and the supply schedule altered accordingly. "We have made projections on the basis of below average rainfall. If it is a good monsoon, the supply situation would be better," he said.
Also, the utilities are hoping that the Agriculture Department would keep the cultivation of the water-guzzling Saathi, a fastmaturing lucrative crop to bare minimum. The total installed generation capacity available to the state is 4051 MW including 1587 MW from its own stations and 937 MW from jointly owned projects and the balance as share in Central projects. The per capital consumption of electricity, which was 660 units in 2005-06, increased to more than 705 last year. It is expected to rise further this year.