Continued power disruptions in the northern, southern and western regions of the country forced industrial units to curtail their production by about 30 percent in the months of April and May and the loss of industrial production is likely to exceed by 35 to 40 percent in the months of June and July, according to an assessment by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India.
The assessment, based on feedback received by the industry body from its constituents in the three regions, said the power deficit experienced by the industrial units in the months of April and May ranged between 20 and 25 percent and it would go beyond 35 percent in the months of June and July.
“As such, the regions were reeling under tremendous power shortage in April and May and the rains added to it as defects in the transmission system,” said D S Rawat, Secretary General –ASSOCHAM, while releasing the assessment.
As a result of the power deficit, the assessment said, industrial production in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra would have to be curtailed to the extent of 30 – 35 percent, particularly in manufacturing units since these did not have alternative means to produce power.
In states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir, power deficit ranged between 20 and 25 percent in the months of April and May and was expected to go beyond 30 – 35 percent in the months of June and July, ASSOCHAM said in the assessment.
It further pointed out that Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh experienced power cuts exceeding 10 to 12 hours in a day and the situation was likely to worsen in the absence of corrective measures compelling industries located in the two states to curtail their production to the extent of 45 percent.
Uttar Pradesh currently faces power deficit of 11.2 percent translating to a shortage of over 924 million units. The state has a power requirement of over 8,282 MU. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav recently blamed the Centre for the power crisis plaguing the state. He said Uttar Pradesh was being supplied 4,500 MW power as against the 6,072 MW allotted in the central pool. Also, the paucity of coal had hit power production at the Anpara C thermal power plant. Some of the other coal-fired thermal power plants in the state such as Obra, Parichchha and Harduaganj were functioning way below their optimum capacity due to coal shortage.
In Andhra Pradesh, the power deficit is even higher at 12.1 percent. As against the power requirement of 9,070 MU, the availability stands at 7,976 MW.
The ASSOCHAM assessment said the southern part of the country, particularly Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, was likely to suffer power shortage to the extent of 2,111 MU.
With regard to Jammu and Kashmir, it said the state suffered a power deficit of 20.3 percent in April which would further rise to 25 percent with a gap of 1,000 MU between availability and supply.
The assessment said Maharashtra had a potential to generate 5,000 MW of electricity through wind energy and another 1,500 MW by way of bagasse cogeneration.
Attributing the power shortage in the regions to power theft, leakages and transmission and commercial losses, the assessment said the situation was unlikely to get better in the next few months. To tide over the crisis, it recommended demand side management, transfer of surplus power from captive units to state grids and use of non-conventional sources of energy especially for domestic usage and street lighting.