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Load shedding in state temporary: Phatak

Friday, October 12, 2018
By A Special Correspondent

Arguing that the state is experiencing a shortfall of 500 MW of power leading to load shedding which is temporary, state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson, Vishwas Phatak, squarely blamed the sudden rise in demand for power on sudden withdrawal of the monsoon in the state and the rise in temperatures.

He argued that the onset of winter will once again reduce the demand for power that has risen sharply now. Speaking to newspersons here at the state BJP headquarters yesterday he literally washed his hands of the charge by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson, Nawab Malik, that coal stock meant for the state was diverted to poll-bound states of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, which is why there is load shedding in the state. He argued that it is for the Union Government to clarify on the issue.

He, however, argued that following the efforts of Minister for Energy, Chandrashekhar Bawankule, the Union Ministry of Railways has increased the number of railway rakes meant for transportation of coal to thermal power plants in the state.

Phatak argued that during the previous Congress-NCP-led regime in state used to experience 12 to 18 hours of load shedding. He said that after coming to power the BJP-led government, due to implementation of the Saubhagya Yojana and implementation of the solar and wind power policy the demand for power has increased from 18,000 MW to 23,000 MW.

Terming the allegations of the NCP spokesperson as childish, Phatak argued that during the monsoon season the coal production from underground mines is greatly reduced. He added that although the state power generation utility, Mahagenco, had made plans for adequate buffer stocks of coal, the sudden withdrawal of monsoon and rise in October heat has made the plans go haywire.

The MSEB Holding Company director disclosed that the demand gap of 3,500 to 4,000 MW was being met through central power grid and a shortfall of just 500 MW was being faced which was being regulated through load shedding in areas where the power losses are high and recovery of power tariffs is low.

The state BJP spokesperson stated that earlier the power generation utility used to keep a coal storage stock of about 20 days, now the thermal power plants can operate on coal stocks of up to three days. Refuting the NCP charge that coal meant for Maharashtra was being diverted to poll-bound states, Phatak stated that coal stock reserved for one state cannot be diverted to other states.

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