Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 12:
As if the bombshell his secretary Suresh Mohapatra dropped yesterday about impending power cuts lasting 1-3 hours was not shocking enough, Odisha Energy minister Pranab Prakash Das today rubbed insult to injury announcing that loadshedding would continue in the state till June next year.
“We are facing a shortfall of 500-550 MW because of a drastic fall in hydro power generation. Therefore, we have no choice but to continue power cuts till June,” Das told media persons here today.
“Instead of the usual 2085 MW, we are now getting no more than 1750 MW of hydro power because of falling reservoir levels caused by deficient rainfall. If it does not rain adequately over the next one month, the situation is going to turn really precarious,” the minister warned.
Besides the falling power generation, Das attributed power cuts to increased demand. “Normally, the demand peaks in May-June touching 4000 MW. But this year, we have reached that level – in fact more than that – in September itself,” he said.
Having caused the wound, the minister sought to apply some balm saying power cuts is a national phenomenon. “Odisha is not the only state where there is power cut. It is happening everywhere – in Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka. Banagalore city is having 7 hours of power cut,” Das said.
Asked if the government was caught unprepared, the minister vehemently denied the charge. “It was because we were prepared that we could do without power cuts till now,” he said.
Energy secretary Suresh Mohapatra had made the formal announcement about power cuts lasting 1-3 hours across the state yesterday, though it had already started unofficially long before the announcement. Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri will have one hour of power cut while other cities would have to endure two hours of it, Mohapatra had said adding the duration of loadshedding would be three hours in rural areas.