This summer is turning out to be particularly harsh for the country. The demand-supply gap for power this year is likely to be the most merciless in a century.
Bhopal stands out as a city that has not reported an imbalance in the supply-demand gap for power this year. However, the city too has had its scheduled power cuts for line maintenance work.
Delhi has been helped by the supply of 490 MW from NTPC’s Dadri plant and 100 MW from the central grid. The duration of power cuts has been reduced to not more than 20-30 minutes in most areas, and sometimes 90 minutes in some colonies.
Patna, on average, experiences power cuts for five hours a day, while the mean range in Kolkata is two-three hours. But the situation in Kolkata typifies a deterioration in comparison with the past few years when the power situation had improved in the city as there was little demand from industry.
In Lucknow, where power cuts of three-five hours a day have been reported, citizens’ unrest has taken the form of agitations at power substations and manhandling power department officials. Consumers have complained that electricity authorities are withholding information or are misleading them. To make matters worse, water supply is hit because 70 per cent of the city water supply is from tubewells. There are 560 tubewells and they cannot operate without power.
While Mumbai has not seen power cuts so far, the rest of Maharashtra is going through its worst power crisis in the past 20 years (cuts of eight to 20 hours daily). Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra registered a record demand 16,650 MW daily this week, creating a supply deficit of 6,650 MW.
In Haryana, Gurgaon is the worst affected among urban areas with consumers facing power cuts of up to eight hours a day. Power outages have hit water supply also. Industry is being supplied power only for eight hours from 9 am to 5 pm.