Scheduled and unscheduled power cuts are back in MP. The power shortage has touched 2160 mw and 1610 mw during the peak and off-peak (daytime) hours respectively in the State. Almost all the places in the State except capital Bhopal are facing an erratic power supply.
The power shortfall shows that the situation hasn’t changed from what it was during the Congress regime three years back, although the BJP government is claiming it has added over 1800-mw power in three years.
This additional power generation, it appears, has been eaten up by the jump in the power demand this Rabi season. Last time round, the Rabi peak demand was some 5900 mw; it has now touched 6800 mw.
The urban areas too are feeling the pinch of the power cuts in MP, which was confined to rural area in the last Rabi season.
The divisional headquarters, excluding Bhopal, are witnessing scheduled and unscheduled power cuts often lasting more than two hours daily. The district headquarters are experiencing power cuts lasting more than five hours. The MPSEB officials here claimed that the power cuts did not exceed 13 hours a day in rural areas, and not more than nine hours in the tehsil headquarters.
As of now, the MPSEB has at its disposal about 4640-mw power against the peak demand of 6800 mw. An official of Load Dispatch Centre preferring anonymity said the demand of electricity has shot up by 400 mw in the last couple of days. To compound the problem, he said, the MPSEB is getting some 1450-mw power instead of 1700 mw from the Central sector, because some units of the NTPC have been closed for the scheduled annual overhaul.
Besides, the official said, the Indira Sagar Project, having an installed power generation capacity of 1000 mw, is producing about 500-mw power during the peak hours. This is being done to ensure that the water in the dam of the ISP is not exhausted, he said.
The officer said the MPSEB is not in a position to buy electricity during peak period because power shortage is prevailing nationwide. When contacted, the MPSEB secretary and MP Power Trading Company Limited Managing Director P K Vaish said that the authorities concerned were trying hard to tide over the power shortage, adding they have a plan to buy electricity of Rs 1000 crores during the Rabi season.
“Even though we don’t have funds, we are buying power from all possible sources”, he said. However, he said that the power generation is improving.