CESC said on Wednesday it was equipped to cope with the projected peak power demand of 1,800-1,850MW ahead of the Puja, which is around 200MW higher than last year.
The substantial spike in demand — expected to peak on Friday as consumption by offices, shops, banks and government establishments will be on alongside domestic and pandal requirements — this year is being attributed to around 50,000 new air-conditioners installed since summer.
“We had initially estimated a peak demand of around 1,900MW on Panchami. But as the temperature has come down, the peak should be around 1,800MW. Of this, 50MW will be the demand from pandals,” said Aniruddha Basu, executive director, distribution services, CESC.
Besides its own generation of over 1,200MW, the utility can import around 600MW from the state-run facility and, if needed, from the eastern grid.
“The demand drops drastically once the Puja holidays start. We expect it to drop by around 200MW by Sunday and another 400MW by Wednesday,” said Basu. This year CESC, which serves over 26 lakh consumers in the city and Howrah, is providing connections to over 3,470 pandals, the highest ever. Last year’s tally was 3,406.
Five thousand CESC employees will work on the festive days to ensure seamless supply.
Police steps: The Calcutta police will deploy additional personnel from Friday to ensure smooth traffic and avert law and order problems. “Unlike in previous years, police deployment will start from Panchami. The numbers of radio flying squads, heavy radio flying squads, quick response teams, watch towers, CCTVs and river traffic patrol units have been increased this year,” police commissioner R.K. Pachnanda said. Cops in plainclothes will man markets and big pandals.