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Since 1st March, 1999
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Power demand soars after temperature dips

- Appliances such as geysers and heaters sell like hot cakes as residents try to beat the chilly weather

The power consumption in the capital has increased over the past week as residents have been trying to beat the chill with heaters and other electrical appliances.

A cold wave-like condition has prevailed in Patna over the past week; the minimum temperature has been less than 10C. As a result, people have been using geysers, heaters and other appliances more frequently and the power consumption has increased by 30-40MW.

Patna Electrical Supply Undertaking (Pesu) general manager-cum-chief engineer Vijay Kumar confirmed the increased power demand but claimed that it had not adversely affected the supply as the power supplier had taken precautionary measures before the onset of winter.

Over the past 15 days, the demand for power supply in Patna has been hovering around 350-360MW. In end-December and early-January, it is around 320-325MW, said Kumar. He added that the increase in demand was nothing unexpected. This happens every year for a brief period. But even the increased demand is way below the average demand in summer, said the Pesu official. The average power demand in Patna during summer is 450-500MW.

Residents are naturally quite happy with the smooth power supply that is keeping them cosy. Indrapuri resident Poonam Singh said: I have been living in Patna for the past four years but I have always been hesitant about buying a heater. This winter, however, is different. I have two children aged two and four years. It is difficult to keep them warm. So I bought a blower a week ago.

Others are of the opinion that contemporary lifestyle is anathema to traditional heating methods like bonfires and electrical appliances are the only alternatives.

Traditional methods like bonfire are not only expensive but also unfeasible for us. So I bought a room heater to keep my home warm, said Park Road resident Maya Devi.

One reason why there has been no blackout this winter is the reduced load factor on majority of the feeders and transformers. The state is getting 1,400-1,500MW everyday against its scheduled allocation of 1,834MW from the central sector. We are drawing only around 1,100-1,200MW, Bihar State Power (Holding) Company Ltd deputy general manager (public relations) H.R. Pandey told said.

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