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    3 in 5 Indian homes face power outages amid massive heat waves


    May 16, 2022 - Mint

     

      New Delhi, May 16 -- As heatwave like condition grapples the country, India faces the worst power outages in more than 6 years amid a soaring heatwave and high temperatures across states and UTs due to coal shortage and fuel used in electricity generation in the country.

      A survey conducted by LocalCircles has found that as temperature almost hit 50 degree Celsius in many parts of India and power outages continue for 3 in 5 households for over a month of heatwave, people demand solutions.

      The survey also revealed that 53% households in India never get any notification from their power department/company in advance about power outages.

      To top this off, the surveyed households cited poorly governed and managed power departments, poor supply infrastructure and maintenance along with corruption as top reasons for power outages in their area.

      Reports suggest that coal inventories are at the lowest pre-summer levels in at least 9 years. Another report said that electricity supply fell short of demand by 1.88 billion units during the first 27 days of April. According to the Ministry of Power, power demand in India surged to a record high late last week, and is set to rise by as much as 8% next month.

      Such a shortage is being witnessed at a time the states and UTs have been witnessing a soaring heatwave.

      The temperature in India's national capital Delhi was recorded at 48 degree celsius. Several states including Rajasthan, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh are also observing the worst power cuts, ranging from 2 hours to 8 hours.

      Delhi in April witnessed its peak power demand surge at 6000 megawatt (MW). In Gurugram, the shortage has resulted in 4 to 6 hours of a cumulative power outage. Similarly, Uttar Pradesh has a 3,000 MW deficit against the demand of around 23,000 MW. Andhra Pradesh is facing a shortfall of about 50 million units of power as against the demand.

      LocalCircles' survey released on 2 May found out that 2 in 3 households in India confirmed facing power outages amidst heatwave and high temperatures. The same survey also indicated that 1 in 3 of them are facing outages of over 2 hours or more each day. The findings also suggest that only 12% of households in India have 24*7 power back up while the rest either have an inverter device or have no backup at all.

      As the coal shortages impact supplies amid heatwave leading to a surge in electricity demand, LocalCircles has conducted another survey to understand how citizens across the country are coping with the power outages, and if there was any improvement from April to May. It also sought to understand some of the root causes according to them behind these power outages. The survey received more than 35,000 responses from citizens across 344 districts of India.

      Per LocalCircles survey, 34% of households in April said they were "Not facing any outage". This percentage has increased slightly to 38% in the survey conducted in May. Meanwhile, households facing outage up to 2 hours has increased from 28% in April to 29% in May.

      Notably, the percentage of households who have 24*7 power back up has increased from 6% in April to 13% in May. Overall, while the power outage improves slightly for some Indian households, 3 in 5 are still struggling amidst massive heatwave.

      The survey further suggested that it is a dire situation for people and one that highlights the urgent need for reforming governance in state and local power departments and companies associated with the same. Published by HT Digital Content Services with permission from MINT. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at contentservices@htlive.com

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