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Home News Power Sector News Power Crisis - Maharashtra to restrict hoardings, AC and street lights

Power Crisis - Maharashtra to restrict hoardings, AC and street lights

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Ashok Chavan - CMChief minister Ashok Chavan hinted that his government may restrict unnecessary use of electricity in the state to overcome power shortage. The government is likely to put restrictions on the power usage of signboards, hoardings, use of air conditioners in malls and multiplexes and may also consider shutting down street lights post midnight. However, the practicality of the proposal is already being questioned by officials and experts from the field of power. The city's consumes maximum power between 1pm and 6pm. Thus, implementing restrictions on power usage in the evening and night time would not help the cause.

Energy activist Ashok Pendse feels that the government's move has come too late, and the announcement seems more of an emotional appeal than an effort to encourage energy conservation.

"The summer season is almost over. Restricting or shutting off electricity supply to neon street lights, signboards and hoardings will barely save 5-8MW per day. If the government is serious in energy conservation, they should target use of air conditioners, which consume over 1,000MW. Curtailing electricity supply to shopping malls would also save roughly 60-70MW," said Pendse.

An official from the power department said that according to a report received by his department, the sale of air conditioners at the tehsil level has gone up significantly of late.

"The consumption in rural areas is contained by load shedding, but in Mumbai there is no control at all. The government can at the most request malls and multiplexes to reduce power consumption, but cannot compel them to do it. Also, commercial activities cannot be restricted in the commercial capital. It will not only lead to revenue loss, but also fetch the state a bad name," the official said, adding that ban on day-night cricket matches is ruled out as they bring in huge revenue.

The chief minister, on his part, blamed the sudden rise in temperatures and the acute shortage of water for the power deficit. "Rise in the temperature has led to an increase in the demand for power. Since there are restrictions on power generation, we have decided to conserve power. We are contemplating restrictions on power usage in certain fields. The decision will be taken next week," said Chavan.

He reiterated that his government was committed on its promise of making the state load-shedding free by 2012. "Though power generation is not proportionate to the deadline set, there are other options open for bridging the demand-supply gap. We also can buy power from the open market. We believe that the rates will decrease once the competition is gone up," said the chief minister.

Source- DNA

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