Heat Wave & Power Cuts Spell Nightmare For Indians

Story Highlights
  • Power shortages across the country are trickling in as coal inventories.
  • India is experiencing hottest April in 122 years.
  • Coal India and the coal ministry had asked power plants to stock up.

New Delhi: A scorching heatwave, compounded with a coal shortage, has spelt a nightmare for Indians during a very warm summer. Multiple cities and states are witnessing long power cuts. Moreover, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted the heatwave to continue, spurring high electricity demand. Moreover, Delhi recorded a maximum temperature of 43.5 degrees – the highest in April in 12 years. Gurugram too recorded 45 degrees, which is the highest ever temperature in April.

Due to high demand and a deepening coal shortage, the Delhi government warned its residents of a possible setback in providing an uninterrupted electricity supply to Metro trains and hospitals. Power Minister Satyender Jain wrote to the Centre to ensure enough coal availability for power plants. The government statement said that there is a disruption in power supply from Dadri-II and Unchahar power stations, which could lead to problems in the 24-hour power supply to Delhi Metro and Delhi government.

The Dadri-II, Unchahar, Kahalgaon, Farakka and Jhajjar power plants supply 1,751 megawatts (MW) of electricity per day to Delhi. The capital gets the maximum supply of 728 MW from the Dadri-II power station, while it receives 100 MW from the Unchahar station. Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has resorted to unannounced power cuts as it has failed to meet the rising electricity demands.

In Mumbai too, parts of the city and adjoining suburbs experienced power outages. Many of the power cut complaints were directed to Adani Electricity. Social media is abuzz with Mumbai residents complaining about long hours of power cuts. Mumbai does not generally face power cuts. But earlier this week the posh Khar area too saw power cuts. Adani Electricity said it was fixing the faults in the lines.

However, Indian Railways has increased the supply of coal trains to powerhouses as well as has loaded more coal rakes on a sustained basis, the government claimed. Moreover, the electricity supply fell short of demand by 1.88 billion units, or 1.6%, during the first 27 days of April.

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