Maharashtra staring at load shedding as 13 coal-run power plants shut down

Maharashtra staring at load shedding as 13 coal-run power plants shut down


Maharashtra may have to resort to power cuts or load shedding as 13 power generating units supplying electricity to the state have shut down over the past few days due to a countrywide coal shortage.

This has led to a shortfall of 3,330 megawatts (MW) and prompted Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) to implore people to use power sparingly during the peak hours between 6 am to 10 am and between 6 pm to 10 pm to ensure that there is no additional load on the power infrastructure.

If the coal situation is not rectified within the next few days, then the state may face load shedding for 6 to 8 hours each day, power department officials said.

The Maharashtra government has decided to draw more power from 12 hydropower units to partly make up for the lack of supply from coal plants both within and outside the state.

In spite of repeated attempts, state power minister Nitin Raut was not available for comment.

The state has benefitted from comparatively low consumption of power over the past few days because several parts of the state received rainfall which has led to lower temperatures. Yet, it is facing a shortfall of 3,330 MW.

To make matters worse, the cash-strapped power ministry has been procuring power at exorbitant rates. For instance, 800 MW was procured for ₹13.60 per unit while another 900 MW were procured at ₹6.23.

To prevent excessive load, power to farm pumps are being supplied only for eight hours per day, and on a rotational basis during night hours.

MSEDCL has asked people to use power sparingly to prevent load shedding.



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