Rajasthan government declares ‘energy vacancy’ for tomorrow’s industries

The Rajasthan government ordered industrial units across the state not to use electricity on Tuesday – declaring a power holiday – to ease some pressures given the ongoing crisis.

Rajasthan’s energy minister, Bhanwar Singh Bhati, said the state’s electricity demand exceeded 13,000 megawatts, well above the available supply of 10,000 megawatts.

“We had to impose blackouts in towns and villages across the state due to power shortages,” Bhati said on Monday.

Bhati said the state should ideally have a month’s supply of coal, and said the government has repeatedly requested the Center to increase the supply of coal to Rajasthan. “Imported coal is four times more expensive, but we follow the guidelines of the Center and buy it. We are even willing to pay 12 rupees/unit on the Indian Energy Exchange, but there is simply no electricity available,” Bhati said.

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He said the government would reduce industrial power connections to 50% load capacity. “We have (also) asked industries not to use electricity for the whole day tomorrow.”

The minister, however, hoped that the situation would improve for the state in the coming days. “The gap between demand and supply has narrowed now. We are able to get electricity from renewable sources,” he said.

“Expect an improvement in the energy situation in the coming days if the current trend continues,” Bhati said.

On Monday, the state-run NTPC Limited said on Thursday that the power crisis was not as bad as expected. The energy conglomerate said the shortage was triggered by an increase in demand due to a sudden rise in temperatures in large parts of the country.


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