Unscheduled power cuts are hitting industries and manufacturing business in the state, with industry associations saying the cumulative loss they incurred per day in the past 15 days could be between Rs1,000 crore and 1,500 crore.
After inflicting unscheduled outages, the state power company Mahavitaran announced a planned 16-hour weekly power cut for industries, affecting two successive production shifts and increasing losses.
Mahavitaran sells 45% of its total available supply to industrial estates in Kanjurmarg, Bhandup, Mulund, Thane and the rest of Maharashtra. Industries in the state pay the highest rates in the country and cross subsidise small users like domestic consumers.
Office-bearers of the Thane Belapur Industries Association (TBIA), Asia's largest industrial corridor, said the production loss in the Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR) alone could be between Rs500 and 700 crore.
"We lose expensive materials, precious man hours and cannot meet our targets in time," said SR Patil, TBIA secretary general. "These losses combined with the cost of running diesel generators would cross thousands of crores per day."
Mahavitaran caters to 80% of the industries and manufactures in the state. In July this year, the company offered industries continuous power on all days of the week. Dhananjay Bele, president of the Nasik Industry and Manufacturing Association (NIMA), a prosperous region in the state's golden quadrangle, told HT: "From July, we started getting 24x7 supply (without a weekly off as was the case earlier). The present crisis has affected us gravely because we planned for more production ahead of Diwali." He pegged the daily loss in his region at Rs300-400 crore, adding that industrial areas in Pune, Aurangabad and Nagpur could also be incurring similar quantum of losses, which put together with MMR could go beyond Rs1500 cr.
"The financial year in many countries (other than India) end in December. Keeping this deadline in view, we planned our production targets for exports, which we will not be able to meet," said Bele.
He said big industries use their own (captive) power plants for operations but the cost of such power is around four-five times that of Mahavitaran's supply. "Nobody can escape the loss," he said.
Narayan Rane, who heads the state industries department, said on Saturday that the state needed to plan for next 25 years. "Though this is a temporary crisis, we must find ways to tackle such emergencies," he said.