While Mumbaiites are expected to get uninterrupted power in peak summer, their counterparts in rest of the state will continue to face prolonged power cuts.
The power crisis in Maharashtra, barring Mumbai, may not be as severe as it was five years ago because of certain measures that the state-owned distribution company Mahavitaran has taken. However, the unavailability of power in peak summer would force the company to enforce power cuts in rural and urban areas.
Mahavitaran also supplies power to the city’s eastern suburbs – Kanjurmarg, Bhandup and Mulund where it has a zero load shedding (ZLS) scheme in place. The scheme is also applicable in neighbouring Thane (including Kalwa and Mumbra), Navi Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and other divisional headquarters. In ZLS, consumers pay more than the usual charge for uninterrupted power.
“Our projection says that the power cuts will not decrease,” said a senior Mahavitaran official. Mahavitaran’s official spokesperson said his company has tied up for extra power – 300 mega watts (MW) for March and 750 MW for April-June. He did not comment further.
According to company estimates, the state (barring Mumbai) will need at least 17,500-18,000 MW against an availability of 13,500 MW in peak summer. This will leave the company with a shortfall of 5,000 MW, which it will manage by load management and power cuts. Load management is a system in which Mahavitaran separates 2,500-3,000 MW of the power supply to domestic and agricultural consumers on a need basis. The rest of the shortfall is taken care of by enforcing power cuts of 2-6 hours in urban areas and 10-12 hours in rural areas.
Sources said Mahavitaran gets insufficient supply from state generation company Mahagenco and Ratnagiri Gas and Power Ltd.
Mahagenco’s overall generation is down to drastic levels because of fuel woes and some outdated units. It has not got the required gas to fire up the 1,200MW Uran thermal project. Gas shortage has also decreased generation of the Ratnagiri unit by at least 900MW. A private generator, Adani Power, which was expected to start generation a few month ago does not have a coal supply chain because the mines allotted to it has been cancelled as it fell under a tiger reserve in Vidarbha.