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Power cuts return to haunt State

THE SPECTRE of power crisis has returned to haunt people with the supply falling short of the demand. Power cuts--scheduled and unscheduled--are getting longer even as the Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board (MPSEB) is grappling with a shortfall in generation.

india Updated: Apr 12, 2006 14:18 IST

THE SPECTRE of power crisis has returned to haunt people with the supply falling short of the demand. Power cuts--scheduled and unscheduled--are getting longer even as the Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board (MPSEB) is grappling with a shortfall in generation.

However, MP Power Transmission Company Limited Chairman and Managing Director R K Verma said the power position would improve fast in a day or two. He denied reports that the MPSEB was chalking out a plan to increase the duration of load-shedding.

But as of now the crisis has started enveloping semi-urban and urban areas. Rural areas had been reeling under the problem for a long time.

According to sources, all major cities— Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Jabalpur and Ujjain — are witnessing frequent power cuts. On Monday, Indore witnessed power cuts five times.

But Verma said the power cuts were not for more than an hour in the major cities (divisional headquarters), four hours in the district headquarters and seven hours in tehsil headquarters.

“To ensure the thrashing of crops is completed on time, we are supplying seven hours three-phase power and three hours single-phase electricity in rural areas,” he added. The State has shortfall of nearly 1375 mega watt (mw) and 1,200-mw power during the peak and off peak hours respectively.

MPSEB’s two thermal power generation units, having installed capacity of 240 mw have gone kaput at Sarni in Betul and Chachai in Shahdol.

Also, the board was getting 75 mw less electricity under the Central quota of 1300 mw. To add to its woes, MPSEB cannot overdraw from the Western Region Grid (WRG), Mumbai, because the grid’s frequency was below 49 Hertz (Hz) for 23 hours in the day for last couple of days. The WRG is interlinked with the Eastern Region Grid, Kolkata, and getting 500 mw less power, as some plants and lines in the Eastern region are out of order.

If the MPSEB takes the risk of overdrawing power at frequency below 49 Hertz, the WRG may collapse and the entire blame would be put on Madhya Pradesh.

Verma, who is also chairman of Western Region Power Committee, said the frequency in the WRG was likely to improve and reach 49 Hz or above on Tuesday when the Eastern Region Grid (ERG) restarts pooling 500 mw in it. He said ERG had repaired faults and was likely to supply 500 mw from tomorrow.

Verma, who looks after power management in MP, said the State would get its full quota of power from tomorrow. At the moment, the MPSEB’s thermal and hydel power stations, including Indira Sagar Project are generating 1750 mw and 850 mw respectively while the Board is getting nearly 1225 mw electricity from the Central Sector and purchasing some 200 mw during peak hours against the demand of 5400 mw.

In the off peak hours, the MPSEB thermal and hydel power station were generating 1750 mw and 200 mw respectively, while the Board was getting 1225 mw power from Central sector and purchasing some 125 mw electricity against the demand of 4500 mw. The MPSEB was making hectic bids to purchase power but electricity was not available nationwide.

Heavy 1,500 mw agriculture load would come down in a few days when the thrashing of the crops is completed, he added.

First Published: Apr 12, 2006 14:18 IST