The state-owned power distribution utility, Mahavitaran, hinted that industrial consumers like IT sector and big malls, who have so far been spared from power cuts, might soon have to face power cut if they voluntarily don't cut their consumption by 10 to 20 per cent.
It also announced substantial increase in power cuts across various sectors.
Although power cuts have been announced due to the drought-like situation in the state, it seems Mahavitaran has chosen the wrong day to make announcement about power cuts as it rained across the state on Thursday.
According to data released by Mahavitaran authorities last year, average demand in July was around 10,666 Mw and average availability was around 12,8777 Mw. But demand this year has not only increased to 14,200 Mw but also availability has been reduced to 9,000 Mw.
The reasons for drop in generations are nearly 1,028-Mw generation plants of state owned generation utility Mahagenco being closed for repairs and maintenance. Because of frequent breakdowns, Dabhol plant is generating only around 350 Mw. Its two units, which are operational, have total capacity of 650 Mw.
And to make matters worse NTPC's Vindhyanchal plant in Madhya Pradesh broke down earlier this week. Maharashtra gets 1,000 Mw power from this plant.
Announcing 40 hours of continuous power cut for the industries located in various industrial parks of the state, Mahavitaran Managing Director AB Pandey said, "We have instructed our high tension (HT) industrial consumers - IT sector and malls - that they should reduce their consumption by 10 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, in a week's time."
"And if they don't follow the instructions then, we will have to think about bringing them in power cut schedule as well," he added.
All the state government offices, state-owned corporations and various municipal authorities have also been told to reduce their consumption by 10 per cent, he told.
Pandey also announced increase in power cuts in cities, towns and rural areas by an hour. In major cities like Pune, Thane, Nagpur, Nashik and Aurangabad power cut has been increased from 4.45 am to 7 am to 5.45 am to 8 am. Smaller cities will not have any power for 8 am to 9.30 am instead of earlier 7 am to 8.30 am. Also rural areas will have to face power cut for 14 hours, instead of 13 hours.
However, Pandey clarified this is temporary measure and if rain gods bless us, then we will resort to old schedule of load shedding.