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A day after the state power distribution utility termed the ongoing load-shedding as an ‘emergency’ step, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis tried to delink it from coal shortage at thermal plants and termed it as a planned move.
He said that the load on a few power generation projects in Maharashtra, including Koyna hydropower project, have been deliberately reduced in anticipation of water shortage in March next year. The opposition, however, accused Fadnavis of diverting attention from the alleged mismanagement on the part of government.
Replying to a media query on the ongoing load-shedding, Fadnavis initially linked it with the Maharashtra Energy Regulatory Commission (MERC) mandate that power cuts should be enforced in areas where the bill recovery is less than 30%.
“We have requested the MERC to reconsider load-shedding as there is water scarcity in parts of the state. The power cuts are being enforced where bill recovery from both domestic and agricultural sector is below 30%,” he said.
When asked about coal shortage being cited as a key reason for the power cuts, Fadnavis said that such shortfall occurs at times. “The coal mines face issues after rainy season. However, the Centre has given its nod for importing coal. Also, long-term purchase agreement for coal is on the cards,” the chief minister said. In his concluding remarks, Fadnavis said load-shedding had been planned. “Koyna project and few other projects have been backed down anticipating water issues in March,” he said.
Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan said the state government was hiding the real reasons behind the power cuts from the public.
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