India is currently going through a power crisis due to dwindling coal supply. It is likely to get worse as power demand is going north amid intensifying heatwave across the country. The rising temperatures are burdening the thermal power plants that are already struggling with low coal stocks. Due to heat wave, depleted capacity, and technical snags, several states are facing power crisis pushing them to take extreme measures to meet the demand and regulate the shortfall.
Here is a list of states where the power crisis is getting intense by the day
: According to Delhi Power Minister Satyender Jain, coal shortages are seen in several power plants located in the NCR region. For the first time, Delhi's peak power demand reached 6000 megawatt (MW) due to an unabated heatwave. The Delhi Government said that the power crisis amid coal shortage could lead to power cuts in important establishments in the capital such as Metro trains and hospitals. Jain has written to the Centre requesting adequate coal availability in the power plants that supply electricity to Delhi.
Uttar Pradesh: The state has a 3000 MW deficit as the demand is of around 23,000 MW and the supply is just 20,000 MW. This has led to load shedding in rural areas and smaller towns of the state. Currently, electricity is being supplied in rural areas on an average of 15 hours 7 minutes against the scheduled 18 hours. UP Power Minister AK Sharma said that electricity is being procured from other states such as Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to ensure scheduled supply of electricity.
Maharashtra: The shortage has been less severe over the past week compared to earlier in the month. The peak demand had gone over 25000 MW. Maharashtra has large outstanding dues to coal companies and the Centre is blaming it for non-payment. The state has been implementing load shedding since early part of April because of a deficit and additional steps are being taken to compensate for the power shortage. Vidarbha, Marathwada, and Khandesh and many parts of rural Nashik, Ahmednagar, and parts of Marathwada including Aurangabad faced power cuts earlier in April.
Punjab: Electricity demand in the state has shot up by 40 percent, according to state's power minister Harbhajan Singh, reported Livemint. Farmers protested against the irregular power supply by blocking traffic in Punjab's Hoshiarpur. Several areas especially rural areas in the state are experiencing 10 to 13-hours power cuts.
Jharkhand: The state usually has an energy demand of 1,800-2,100 MW during peak hours but it has now surged to 2,500-2,600 MW. Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren admitted that the state has not been able to meet the energy demand and said that additional funds have been made available to procure electricity from the market.
Rajasthan: Power demand in the state has shot up to about 2,800 lakh units daily from 2,131 lakh units last year. Due to a backlog in supply, several areas in the state are facing power cuts of up to 3-7 hours. Rajasthan Power Minister Bhanwar Singh Bhati said the state is capable of catering to only 70 percent of the power demand leaving a 30 percent deficit of about 3000 MW. He mentioned the shortage of coal as the reason and said the Centre is not providing sufficient coal to Rajasthan. To combat the situation Rajasthan Government has appealed to the industry/factory owners to cut down electricity usage by 50 percent.
Haryana: Haryana is facing severe power shortage and even urban areas like Gurugram are facing power cuts of up to 6 hours. Heatwave and infrastructure projects have been cited as the reason behind the rise in demand and a shortfall in supply. As per a TOI report, Haryana Power Minister Ranjit Singh Chautala has said that the current daily demand is about 8,100 MW and the shortfall was over 300 MW. He said uninterrupted power will be available to consumers within next few days as the gap will be covered by Saturday.
as intense heat broils the country
Odisha: Odisha, which is known to be a power surplus, state has been facing a shortage of around 400 MW daily. It has an average need of 4,150 MW and peak demand of 4,450 MW. According to the state officials, the shortfall is temporary, and the situation will improve within a week by the end of April.
Bihar: The state is facing a power deficit of 200-300 MW per day because of the sudden increase in demand, heatwaves and an early arrival of peak summer. The generation of hydropower has also suffered. The state’s daily demand of electricity is close to 6,000 MW. Sanjeev Hans, Secretary of Energy Department, Bihar said, the government, is purchasing about 600 MW of electricity almost every day at higher rates to meet the demand, as per a TOI report.
Andhra Pradesh: The state is facing a demand of 210 million units per day and currently there is a shortfall of about 50 million units of power per day. To combat the crisis, the discoms in the state are implementing a two-day 'power holiday' for industries per week. Andhra Pradesh is the first state to implement a power holiday after Gujarat.
Kerala: The state is also witnessing long power cuts. The production of electricity in the state has reduced by 400MW due to the coal crisis. The Kerala State Electricity Board has decided to impose power cuts to regulate the shortfall.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)