For the first time in Maharashtra's 50-year-old history, the industries in the state will get uninterrupted power supply around the year from July 1.
With this, the state plans to help industries produce and manufacture at least 15-20% more a month and discourage them from migrating to neighbouring states.
The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (Mahavitaran) that powers 80% of the state's industry - major and minor -- has decided to do away with the weekly eight-hour power cut. The state's industries have faced weekly cuts ever since 1960- when Maharashtra was formed.
The cut were increased to 16 hours three years ago because of an acute power shortage and was reduced to eight early this year. The decision will be reviewed in case there is not sufficient power in the next summer when demand would grow further.
A top energy department official confirmed this development to HT. He did not want to be named as the energy minister is expected to apprise the state cabinet on Wednesday before making a formal announcement.
"In the past 50 years, the state company always had a planned weekly outage for industries for the purpose of maintenance. But henceforth, Mahavitaran will provide power, if industrial units want to work on their off days as well," the official said, adding that Mahavitaran's director (operations) has directed divisional chief engineers to enforce the new directive from July 1.
The official said that to make its industry policy more attractive, the government was planning to reduce power tariff for industries in near future. A new industry policy in now in the making and since the state prepares to become a power surplus by December 2012, the government can afford this incentive, he said.
Mahavitaran sells 45% of its total available supply (now 13,000MW) to industrial estates in Kanjur, Bhandup, Mulund, Thane and the rest of the state.
Industries pay the highest rates to the company and help it in cross-subsidising small users such as domestic consumers.
Industries and manufacturing units in Mumbai, which are less in number as compared to Mahavitaran's consumer base, get uninterrupted power from Tata Power, RInfra and Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport undertaking because these companies are power sufficient.