The Rajasthan government has directed industrial units across the state not to utlitise any electricity on tuesday — effectively declaring a power holiday — to alleviate some pressure in view of the ongoing crisis.
Rajasthan Energy Minister Bhanwar Singh Bhati said the state's power demand crossed 13,000 megawatts — well above the available supply of 10,000 megawatts.
"We had to impose power cuts in cities and villages across the state due to power shortage," Bhati said on Monday. The power shortage has also badly affected water supply in the state, affecting 4,142 villages and 43 urban areas.
Bhati said the state should ideally have a month's coal stock in hand, and said the government has repeatedly asked the Centre to increase coal supply to Rajasthan. "Imported coal is four times as expensive, but we are following Centre's directives and buying it. We are even willing to pay Rs 12/unit on the Indian Energy Exchange, but there simply is no power available," Bhati said.
He said the govenrment will curtail industrial power connections to 50 percent of the load capacity. "We have (also) requested the industries to not to use power for the entire day tomorrow."
The minster, however, was hopeful that the situation will improve for the state in coming days. "The demand-supply gap has reduced now. We are able to get some electricity from renewable sources," he said.
"Expect an improvement in power situation in coming days if the current trend continues," Bhati said.
The country is currently in the grip of a power shortage. Over the weekend, Rajasthan witnessed a shortage of 33.05 million units, Madhya Pradesh 27.93 million units, Haryana 25.23 million units and Uttar Pradesh 20.6 million units.
CNBC-TV18 has learnt that current coal inventory pan-India is enough for 7-8 days, whereas the average of last 10-years was 25 days. The worst affected states in terms of coal inventory are Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, with two days of coal stock each, and Andhra Pradesh with three days of stock. Rajasthan, UP and Karnataka have four days of coal stock.
The Delhi government has already said that if the coal scenario remains the same, it could lead a situation in which metro stations and hospitals do not have sufficient power.