Heatwave, coal shortage lead to blackouts. See how your state is affected
As the country swelters under extreme heat - with the temperature in some states, like Delhi, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh - touching 45 degrees Celsius, power demand is shooting to an all-time high.
A severe heatwave, accompanied by an acute coal shortage, has triggered blackouts across India. Thousands of people from Jammu and Kashmir to Tamil Nadu are dealing with power cuts of up to eight hours daily. Raising fears of a power crisis like last year, several states are struggling to meet the demand for electricity. And as the country swelters under extreme heat - with the temperature in some states, like Delhi, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh - touching 45 degrees Celsius, power demand is shooting to an all-time high. This has also led to low inventories of coal - which is used to produce around 70 percent of India's electricity.
The total electricity shortage in the country has hit 623 million units, news agency PTI said. On April 27 peak power demand was 200.65 GW, and peak power shortage was 10.29 GW.
Check how your state is affected here:
Jammu and Kashmir
In Jammu and Kashmir, unscheduled and prolonged power cuts during Ramzan have left citizens distraught. Officials in the electricity department said the supply in April was around 900 to 1,100 MW while the demand was 1,600 MW, reported news agency PTI.
According to Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL), the load served during April has been around 900 to 1,100 MW against the demand of 1,600 MW, thereby creating a deficit.
The crisis has led citizens to take to the streets and mainstream politicians have blamed the J&K adminstration for “not doing enough” to solve the crisis.
Also read: Eight-hour blackouts hit India after hottest March since 1901
Punjab has slipped into an acute electricity crisis due to the outage of two more power-generating units - the Talwandi Sabo and Ropar thermal plants. Several areas, including Ludhiana, Patiala and Mohali, are facing frequent cuts. Reportedly, only 3,327 MW power is being generated against the combined installed capacity of 5,680 MW at the five thermal plants in the state.
In Punjab's Hoshiarpur, farmers have blocked vehicular traffic in protest against irregular electricity supply.
Bihar is facing a power deficit of 200-300 MW per day due to the sudden increase in demand as the state reels under a severe heatwave. According to Sanjeev Hans, the secretary of the state's energy department, the state's consumption is around 6,000 MW per day, while the availability of power from different sources is only 5,000 to 5,200 MW.
Uttarakhand Power Corporation Ltd managing director Anil Kumar has attributed the shortage to a rise in “demand caused by the early onset of summer”. He has also attributed it to the closure of a gas-driven power plant in Kashipur in Udham Singh Nagar district. Chief minister Puskhar Singh Dhami has directed officials to find a solution to the power crisis, especially in the industrial areas, at the earliest.
The electricity demand has increased 31 percent in Rajasthan - leading to power cuts of five to seven hours a day. Rural areas in the state are facing more power cuts than in urban areas. Rajasthan's Vanasthali recorded the highest temperature of 45.4 degrees Celsius while Bikaner and Phalodi recorded 45.2 degrees Celsius on Wednesday.
Also read: 'No need to panic’, says coal minister on worrying power crisis during heatwaves
Haryana's power shortage is over 300 MW - as against the current daily demand of 8,100 MW. According to power minister Ranjit Singh Chautala, uninterrupted power will be available to consumers within the next few days. Meanwhile, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has also assured that the power cut issues will be resolved soon.
Uttar Pradesh is reeling under a severe heatwave with some cities recording a maximum temperature of over 40 degrees. While the demand for power in India's most populous state is around 23,000 MW, the supply is only 20,000 MW.
The shortage of 3,000 MW has now resulted in load shedding in rural areas and smaller towns.
According to data made available by the state power department, at present, electricity is being supplied in rural areas on an average of 15 hours daily against the scheduled 18 hours, PTI reported.
Similarly, in towns, electricity is being supplied on an average of 19 hours daily against the scheduled 21 hours 30 minutes, while in tehsil headquarters, it is being provided 19 hours 50 minutes against 21 hours 30 minutes. However, at district headquarters, electricity is being supplied 24 hours a day.
Jharkhand has not been able to meet the peak demand of electricity - chief minister Hemant Soren said. According to him, additional funds have been made available to procure electricity from the market.
Andhra Pradesh is facing an acute shortage of around 50 million units of power as compared to the demand of 210 million units daily. According to the state energy secretary B Sridhar, the current crisis might ease by the end of April, reported PTI.
"The power distribution companies (discoms) are tying up for 30 MU from real-time markets to overcome the deficit. But still, there is a shortfall of some 20 MU as power is not adequately available in the market. Consequently, we are implementing restriction and control measures for the industrial sector," he said.
Odisha is facing an acute shortage of electricity since mid-April - following the breakdown of one unit of NTPC which used to generate 800 MW. According to the government, its power crisis will be over by the end of April.
Maharashtra has been dealing with load shedding since early April as heatwave conditions persist. The state is dealing with a deficit of up to 3,000 MW of power. On Tuesday morning, electricity supply in parts of Mumbai and adjoining areas - including Thane, Mulund, Ambarnath, Badlapur and Dombivali, was affected due to tripping in the 400KV sub-station at Padgha.
Madhya Pradesh is supplying 11,875 MW of electricity against a peak demand of 12,150 MW. MP's Load Dispatch Centre (SLDC) chief engineer KK Prabhakar said there is no scheduled load shedding in the state at present and thermal power plants have no issues with coal supplies, reported PTI.
Also read: 5 tips to stay cool, healthy during scorching summer heatwave
Gujarat has not been affected by load shedding due to coal shortage, claimed Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) managing director Jai Prakash Shivahare. According to him, the state is “managing things effectively”.
However, Ahmedabad recorded the highest maximum temperature in the state this week as heatwave conditions prevail in the state.
Tamil Nadu has been hit with unscheduled power cuts - particularly in Virudhunagar, Tenkasi, and Tuticorin. The state government last week had said that a shortfall of 750 MW from the central grid led to a shortage of electricity supply in some parts of the state.
Bengal, like Gujarat, is able to meet its power demand without any deficit in the supply. Reportedly, the state average demand is between 9,000 and 9,200 MW.
(With inputs from PTI)