The load-shedding for industries will be imposed once a week — on different days in different areas — coinciding with days when plants observe their weekly off, said an official from the Maharashtra State Electricity Board.
The latest power-saving measure has been taken in view of an estimated shortage of around 3,500MW to 4,000MW of power in the past three weeks. Power generation in the state has been hit badly on account of severe disruptions in coal supply due to the Telangana agitation in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and floods in Orissa. This has resulted in Maharashtra power stations getting only around 12 rakes (trainloads) of coal against the daily requirements of 24 rakes.
The present demand is around 16,500MW but power generation is 11,000MW, necessitating load-shedding of three to seven hours in urban areas and 11-13 hours in rural areas, hitting domestic, commercial and agriculture sectors.
The power cuts have angered people, with protests in at least two areas of Thane in the past two days and in Yavatmal on Wednesday. Coal supply has hit the MAHAGENCO thermal power generation plants in Parli (Beed), Chandrapur, Koradi, Khaparkheda, Paras — all in eastern Maharashtra, Nashik and Bhusawal in the northern parts of the state and Uran in Thane, besides smaller ones across the state.
This is the first time this year that ‘planned load-shedding’ has been imposed in the state which has been showing an improvement in its power supply position in the past couple of years, mainly owing to good monsoons.