Andhra Pradesh faces severe power outage; industries, hospital facilities majorly hit

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Homes in darkness, industries hit as Andhra faces severe power crunch

Highlights

  • An incident was reported in which a woman delivered a baby under a cellphone light
  • Every sector is suffering due to a huge gap between demand and supply
  • Industries functioning round-the-clock have been asked to slash their power demand by 50 per cent

Severe power crisis gripped Andhra Pradesh after the state government suddenly declared a power holiday bringing major and minor industries to a grinding halt. Homes in darkness, patients suffering in government hospitals and industries coming to a grinding halt in the state are some scenes that show the severity of power crisis gripping the state.

An incident was reported in which a woman delivered a baby under a cellphone light at a government hospital in Narsipatnam, amid the sweltering heat highlight the grim situation.

From domestic to agriculture and industry, every sector is suffering due to a huge gap between demand and supply.

This is the first time since the bifurcation of united Andhra Pradesh that the state has been forced to declare a power holiday.

With power deficit hovering around 40-50 Million Units (MU) per day, the power distribution companies (DISCOMs) have resorted to Emergency Load Relief (ELR). While officially the power cuts are for one hour for the domestic sector in villages and half an hour in cities and towns, people have been complaining of outages for several hours every day.

Industries functioning round-the-clock have been asked to slash their power demand by 50 per cent while others have been directed to declare a power holiday once a week, in addition to their normal weekly off. The power utilities also told the industries to have only one shift during daytime.

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The power holiday would adversely impact 253 industries that are working round the clock and 1,696 non-continuous industries under the AP Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (APSPDCL) purview. The government, private companies and shopping malls have been advised to use only 50 per cent of air-conditioners and not to use power for publicity hoardings and signboards between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Against the daily demand of 220-230 MU, the power utilities are able to supply only 180 MU. According to the Energy Department, the crisis is due to the increased demand and this is in line with the national trend.

The increase in demand is attributed to the resumption of economic activities after the COVID-19 situation came under control, agriculture activity and the summer conditions peaking early this year. The officials pointed out that states like Gujarat have also been forced to declare a power holiday.

However, Andhra Pradesh is the only state in south India which is unable to meet the growing demand. The remaining four states and one Union Territory are supplying uninterrupted power to the domestic and industrial sectors.

Though Andhra Pradesh has more resources than other states, it is finding itself in a crisis. The experts attribute this to lack of advance planning on the part of the power utilities to meet the growing demand.

(With inputs from IANS)

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