Patna, June 28: Frequent power cuts in the past few days have left people, especially shopkeepers and industrialists, in the dark.
There have been reports from almost all parts of the city that people are facing regular load-shedding of at least three to six hours, on an average, after sundown.
In the past fortnight, roads like Fraser Road, Exhibition Road, some parts of Station Road and Kadamkuan, which have major business establishments, witnessed power cut of at least three-four hours.
Adding to woes of the people, three units of the NTPC stopped generation yesterday because of technical snag reducing the power allocation to 1,150MW against 1,947MW of central sector allocation. The state normally gets 1,400-1,600MW against central sector allocation of 1,947MW.
The state received a total of 1,750MW of power supply against the average 2,200-2,400MW. Of 1,750 MW, the power company received 1,150MW from central sector against its scheduled allocation of 1,947MW, purchased 500MW and drew 100MW from its own source — Muzaffarpur thermal power plant.
Apart from the three NTPC units of Farakka’s unit Nos. 2 and 6 (generation capacity is 200MW each) and Talcher’s unit No. 1 (generation capacity is 500MW), which stopped generation late on Friday evening, the other two NTPC units of Farakka (200MW) and Kahalgaon (210MW) have been closed for the past month on account of annual maintenance.
Bihar State Power (Holding) Company Ltd deputy general manager (public relations) H.R. Pandey said: “The power situation is expected to improve from Sunday. Of the three units that stopped generation on Friday, Talcher has started generation, while one unit of Farakka would start by late Saturday evening and the other unit at Farakka is expected to start generation from Sunday. Besides, Farakka’s unit No. 1, which was closed on account of annual maintenance, too would start producing supply. However, Kahalgaon’s unit No. 2, closed on account of annual maintenance, is expected to start generation from July 10.”
Pandey added that the state received a total of 2,200MW (around 5pm) on Saturday that included 600MW from purchase. Power company sources said the company had given requisition for purchasing another 200MW, if required, especially to deal with any kind of crisis.
Chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi said the NTPC units have stopped generation due to technical reasons. “The problem of power scarcity is not such grave as it used to be. We have set our target for power generation which would be completed on time.”
But the biggest problem for the residents is that they are not informed in advance about the power cut. “There are two types of power cuts. One that is notified and the other one is that which we do not have any prior information,” said Shamim Raza who runs an electrical equipment shop at Fraser Road, adding: “A simple businessman like me cannot afford to sustain business on diesel-guzzling generators. I can manage my affairs if I know specific hours of power cuts.”
Another businessman, wishing anonymity, said he could not remember such frequent and long haul of power cuts on the Dakbungalow Road roundabout area. “It’s a new thing which we are experiencing at present,” he said.
A Dakbungalow supply division official, on condition of anonymity, said: “There are three hours of load-shedding between business hours from 11am and 8pm at regular intervals in the Dakbungalow division. Since this is a commercial area, so the maximum load is registered between 11am and 8pm.”
Stating that most of the feeders, particularly 33KV ones, are overloaded in the city, the official said the process was on to distribute the load on other feeders.