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Power crisis dampens Maharashtra's festive spirits

Sep 15, 2007 09:31 AM IST India India
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New Delhi: Power woes loom large in Maharashtra, as the festive season beckons. Come October and large parts of the state could be having long powercuts. Thane experienced 4-6 hour long power outages while in the villages load-shedding stretched from 12-16 hours. And though the monsoons brought some respite, come October the state could be forced to sweat it out once again. Maharashtra Power Minister, Dilip Patil says, “Last year the shortfall was 5,000 mw. This year with 2,000 mw coming from Dabhol it will be down to 3000 MW. But the demand is also to shoot up by another 1000mw.” Demand for power shoots up in October, as it’s the time when the Kharif crop is harvested. The statewide demand for power hovers around 12000 mw. Whereas the supply of only 9,000 MW falls short miserably. The state is now depending on the Dabhol Power project to contribute a total of 2,100 mw in three equal phases. There are three different blocks that comprise the Dabhol Power Project in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. Out of them just one is partially functional thereby delivering 750 Mega watts of power to the state. Yet the power ministry maintains its optimism. “We have gone for single phasing and taken necessary measures. If we manage resources intelligently we should be able to deal with the situation,” says Dilip Patil. Even if the authorities are somehow able to tide over the crisis this October, the fact that no new power generation plants have been commissioned in the past decade is going to haunt them for a long time to come.