‘State faces 785 MW load-shedding during peak hours’

Though the government had announced that state will be free of load-shedding by the end of last year, it still imposes an average load-shedding of 785 MW during peak demand period, according to the Economic Survey of Maharashtra for 2012-13 tabled before the legislature last week.

Officials, however, said load-shedding during 2012-13 has come down by 35per cent as compared to last year, owing to reduction in transmissions and distribution losses by the various power utilities. As per the census of 2011, 83.9 per cent of households across Maharashtra have electricity connection, the highest being in Mumbai district (98.1per cent) and lowest in Nandurbar (58.3per cent) and Gadchiroli (59.2per cent).

The average consumption increased by 10.6 per cent during 2011-12 as compared to the previous year. This is set to cross 11 per cent during 202-13.

The industrial sector is the largest consumer (38per cent) followed by agriculture (23per cent) and domestic (22 per cent). During 2011-12, the average peak demand of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (Mahadiscom) was 14,043 MW, with load-shedding of 1,202 megawatts. While during 2012-13 (up to December) this average demand increased marginally to 14,048 MW, load-shedding was reduced to 785 MW. The shortfall has, come down significantly, which was as high as 3,192 MW in 2005-06. The installed capacity as on March last year was eight per cent more than what it was in March 2011, with renewable sources recording a steep rise (23 per cent). However, with the shutting of the Dabhol power plant, electricity generated through natural gas came down by eight per cent during 2012-13 (up to December) as compared to the previous year.

Total electricity generation was also up by 7.8 per cent during this period, but this was largely because Mahavitaran received 22.6 per cent more electricity from Centre-run power generators. Electricity purchased by the state also increased significantly, with Mahadiscom buying 98,777 million units for Rs 35,120 crore during 2011-12 as compared to 90,341 million units for Rs 24,780 crore during 2010-11. Power utilities like Mahatransco have managed reducing the distribution, aggregate technical and commercial losses and improve its transmission and network infrastructure to reduce the gap between demand and supply.

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