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Load-shedding in Maharashtra for six days a week

December 07, 2004 20:50 IST

The Maharashtra government has decided to impose three to six hours of load-shedding every day for six days a week in view of the severe power shortage in the state, Energy Minister Dilip Valse-Patil told the Legislative Council on Tuesday.

The new power cut schedule will be enforced from December 13, he told the council, while responding to questions raised by the Leader of the Opposition Nitin Gadkari and others.

The state at present faces a huge shortfall of 2,300 MW to 3,100 MW, and it may go up to 7,700 MW by 2010 if immediate steps are not taken to augment power generation, he said.

Various localities in cities like Pune, Nagpur, Nashik and Aurangabad will be subjected to power cuts on a rotational basis from 0900 IST to 1200 IST, 1200 IST to 1500 IST and 1500 IST to 1800 IST, he said. In semi-urban areas, the load-shedding will be for four hours in the morning from 0700 IST to 1100 IST, and three hours in the evening, 1700 IST to 2000 IST and 2000 IST to 2300 IST, the minister said.

He said the rural areas will continue to face six-hour power cuts.

To meet the rising demand, the state plans to set up additional units of 250 MW each at Parli and Paras power stations of the Maharashtra State Electricity Board and a 450 MW unit at the gas-based power station at Uran.

Efforts are also being made to procure additional gas from the Gas Authority of India Limited for the Uran project, the minister added.

In addition, the government is also making efforts to set up another gas-based power generation station at Talegaon-Dabhade near Pune, Valse-Patil said.

Proposals for tapping non-conventional sources, like biogas and wind, to meet the rising demand are also under consideration, the minister added.

Referring to the suggestion by Gadkari that the revival of the controversial Dabhol project can be considered, the minister said negotiations are on to restart the project within the next couple of years.

"With the new Electricity Act 2003 coming into force, private players need no prior approval from the state or the Centre to set up new plants. The entire process will be handled by the Maharashtra Energy Regulatory Commission," Valse-Patil said.

The state government will offer more concessions to attract private sector players, he said.
He also announced that a committee headed by the chief secretary has been set up to prepare a package to attract private capital for power generation.

More reports from Maharashtra
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