Maharashtra to extend power cuts from Saturday

July 19th, 2008 - 12:09 am ICT by IANS  


Mumbai, July 18 (IANS) In an expected fall-out of the poor rainfall in Maharashtra, the state’s electricity distribution agency Mahavitaran announced an additional one-hour daily power cut here Friday. The outages will come into effect from Saturday, a spokesman for Mahavitaran told IANS Friday evening.

In all major urban and industrial areas, power cuts would extend between four to seven hours daily. In semi-urban centres, the daily cuts will go up to seven to eight-and-half-hours.

The rural population will practically live without power for more than half the day now. The power cut duration has been increased from existing 12 hours to 13 hours daily, the official said.

He said since the dry spell continues unabated, the power situation in the state was becoming critical.

Mahavitaran also appealed to the people of the state to understand the emergency-like situation and bear with it.

On Thursday, state Water Resources Minister Ajit Pawar warned that water supply, irrigation and power generation were facing a crisis.

“Since water levels in the large dams have gone down to about 20 percent, we have issued instructions to utilize this water strictly for drinking purpose in surrounding villages and the rest to be diverted for use in cities,” he informed the state assembly.

At present, availability of power ranges from 9,000 MW to 9,300 MW, while demand is steadily increasing by the day.

The widening demand-supply gap has been attributed to the continuing dry spell, low water level of Koyna dam, and annual overhaul of some generating sets.

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