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Fall in electricity demand as recession catches up

india Updated: Jan 05, 2009 16:07 IST
Yogesh Joshi
Yogesh Joshi
Hindustan Times
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The ongoing economic slowdown may have hit many who are looking for job stability, there is however a positive side to the phenomenon wherein the prevailing situation have brought down demand of electricity. At a time when the state is facing acute shortage of power and millions of people especially from rural Maharashtra cope up on daily basis with hours of load shedding, this may come as pleasant news.

While Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad zone has seen maximum fall in the situation in the state, the neighboring Bhandup Zone, which cover industrial areas including Thane, Mulund and Navi Mumbai is also a witness to the phenomenon. In November month alone the Pune and Pimpri-chinchwad segment saw around 20 % fall in power demand of high-tension units while Bhandup zone witnessed around 5 % to 10 % decrease in electricity consumption, according to information from Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Lid (Mahadiscom)

On normal days the monthly consumption of Bhandup zone high-tension units goes around 250 Million Units. However in the last two months there has been gradual decrease in demand and the last count dhows that the fall is within 5 to 10 %, said Bhandup zone chief engineer Ashok Gujar. "Some of the big steel units have brought down their production while many small and medium scale units, dependent on large scale houses have slowed down and as a result the power demand in the zone is reducing", said Gujar.

In Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad zone, the data procured from Mahadiscom by Sajag Nagarik Manch president Vivek Velankar shows that the fall in demand is being noticed Post April/May. "The statistics provided by Mahadiscom shows that during October-November there was sudden fall in demand by industrial units. From the 400 mws of daily demand, it has come down to 310-320 mw during the last few days", said Velankar. The data procured by Velankar is only till November while in the december there have been temporary closers by as many as 3500 small scale units besides some big industries like Tata Motors. The closure may record further fall in demand.

The fall in demand among the industrial units is though a good news, there is however no official word from Mahadiscom official about reducing the load shedding hours in rural parts of the state. "While we are closely monitoring the situation after some of the industrial units closed down their plants temporarily due to prevailing economic situation, it is however yet to be ascertained how much is the total fall in demand and whether the situation will remain same", said Mahadiscom Public Relation Officer Ram Dutonde.

The state faces shortage of around 5000 mw of electricity and the situation is likely to be worsen in the time ahead as the household power consumption will go up with summer catching up from February onwards. In the situation if the the industrial demand see substancial fall, then state may have some respite.

As the power demand from industrial units comes down there is also a fall in the revenue of the company. In the Pune-PimpriChinchwad zone, there has been decrease of 10 per cent in the monthly revenue of Mahadiscom, said Velankar.

The revenue figures provided by Dutonde is also indicative as to see fall in demand. According to Dutonde, the monthly revenue collected out from Alibuag based Ispat industries as a part of electricity bill have come down to Rs 35 crore from 65 crores.