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In view of the power shortage in the state, Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd (MSEDCL) has reduced the duration of power supply to farmers at night. Earlier, the discom used to provide eight hours three-phase supply during the day and ten hours during the night on rotation basis. Now, it is providing eight hours during day as well as night.
A company spokesperson said that the hours of supply would be increased as soon as the power situation normalizes. “Our availability has gone down by 4,000 MW due to various reasons and we are forced to do loadshedding in the range of 1,500 MW. In order to reduce unscheduled interruptions, we have decided to reduce power supply to farmers at night.
The spokesperson further said that energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule had asked all state-run and private power plants to bring their units under breakdown, online as soon as possible. “Once this happens, load shedding will stop,” he added.
However, consumer activist Pratap Hogade has alleged that the power cuts in the state off late were completely unwarranted and illegal. Hogade, who is the executive president of Maharashtra Veej Grahak Sangathana (MVGS), claimed that the power cuts were due to complete lack of planning by MSEDCL, Mahagenco and the state government. He has decided to file a petition before Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) and seek action against the discom.
Hogade said that as per the petition submitted by MSEDCL before MERC, the discom’s current availability was 33,500 MW. “As per MSEDCL it has 9,000 MW surplus power. Due to lack of demand, several power projects are not generating and consumers are paying the capacity charges. MSEDCL had demanded Rs4,000 crore from consumers on this count,” he said.
The activist further said that MERC, in its tariff order issued in November 2016, determined the excess availability to be in the range of 6,000 MW to 6,500 MW. “The Commission has allowed MSEDCL to recover Rs3,000 crore as capacity charges from consumers in three years,” he added.
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