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1.      Why Load Shedding ?

          Electricity demand in Maharashtra (MSEDCL’s area) has been rising at a very high rate in the last two years.  In 2004-05, the peak demand went up from 11357 MW to 12749 MW over 2003-04 which is a jump of  12.26% as compared to earlier average increase of  2.74%  (See Annexure-I)

          While the demand has been increasing, the generation capacity has remained steady with maximum availability of 9300 MW.  This had resulted in a peak gap of 3449 MW in 2004-05.

          In 2005-06, the peak demand recorded in May 05 was 12987 MW which is again a jump of 238 MW over the previous year.  This had resulted in a shortage (load shedding) of 3687 MW in May 05.

2.      Sudden Jump of Demand in October 05 :-

          In the month of October 05, the peak evening demand which had come down to 10,000 MW in September has in the last ten days gone up to 12,200 MW.  This is a jump of 2,200 MW in a period of 7 to 8 days.  Over and above this is the requirement of Mumbai in which Tata Power had been drawing MSEDCL’s power in peak hours increasing the load shedding in MSEDCL’s areas.

3.      Why availability has not increased in proportion to the drawl ?

          Closure of the Dabhol Plant of 2150 MW in 2001 and subsequent non-start of Bhadravati (1082 MW) and Patalganga (447 MW) IPP Projects is the main reason behind non-increase of availability of power.   Because of the closure of Dabhol plus non-start of IPP Projects and seeing the increase in demand in 2003, MSEB decided to go in for Parli (250 MW),  Paras (250 MW) Projects and Ghatghar (250 MW Peaking/Irrigation) Projects.

          Any thermal project takes from 3 to 4 years before commissioning.  These projects are thus expected to become available in 2006-07 and will thus provide major relief against load shedding.

4.      What is MSEDCL’s plan to improve the power availability in Maharashtra ?

          Looking at the growth in demand, the existing deficit of 3500 – 4000 MW could possibly go up to 10,000 MW by 2010-11 if efforts are not made to increase availability.

          Power is an essential component in the economic growth of a State.  As per the Economists, an investment of Rs.1 Cr. in the power sector results in a Rs.20 Cr. growth in the economy.  In light of this, it has been decided to have a goal of surplus power in Maharashtra by 2010-11.  The following action plan for an addition of 17,212 MW has been prepared for Maharashtra in the next 5 to 7 years :-

(1)     Projects under Construction                         -        750 MW

(2)     Projects for which tie-up has been                -        2872 MW

          made with NTPC & Inter-State Projects

(3)     Revival of Dabhol Project under                   -        2150 MW

          Ratnagiri Gas & Power Pvt.Ltd.

          (A company owned by NTPC, GAIL,

          IFIs & GoM)

(4)     Projects planned by MAHAGENCO             -        7540 MW

(5)     Long term power to be purchased by            -        4000 MW

          MSEDCL through competitive tenders

          From IPPs.        17312 MW 

5.      Immediate Measures being undertaken by MSEDCL to reduce load shedding.

          MSEDCL is also trying to manage the demand through Demand Side Management Measures e.g.

(i)      Akshya Prakash Yojana :

This is a scheme under which a village (Goathan) can avoid load shedding in the evening by reducing the load voluntarily to 20% of the existing load.  About 500 villages in Western Maharashtra have already adopted this scheme and are thus free from load shedding in the evening (A booklet on this scheme is enclosed).

(ii)     Voluntary Load Reduction Scheme in Small Cities :-

Under this scheme, during the evening peak, the load is reduced to 33% through self control measures by the citizens.  When the load decreases to less than 33%, load shedding in the city is removed in the evening.

(iii)    Single Phase Supply in Goathans :

Main suffering of the public due to load shedding is in the evening hours.  In order that atleast basic light is available in the households, single phase transformers are being fixed in village goathans.  Single phase supply during evening peak has been today made available in about 700 villages.  By 15th Nov., about 10,000 villages are expected to get light in the evening hours in the goathans under this scheme.

(iv)    Scheme of Separate Feeders for Goathans :-

With the same purpose of providing evening lighting to village goathans, separate feeders are being set up for the goathans.  Under this scheme also about 10,000 villages will be covered, but the process of completion will take about 8 months to one year.

(v)     Increased availability of power in 6 to 12 months :-

-        Parli Project (250 MW) is expected to be completed by April 2006.

-        Dabhol Project (2150 MW) – First Block is expected by May 2006 and the rest is expected between Oct. 06 to Dec. 06.

-        Paras Project (250 MW) is expected to be completed by August 06.

-        Ghatghar Peaking Project (250 MW) is expected to be completed by April 06.

Thus, tremendous relief in load shedding is expected by middle of next year.

(vi)    Other DSM Measures :

          (a)      Encouragement to CFL for saving of electricity.

          (b)     Introduction of capacitors on agriculture pumps and drinking water supply schemes.

(vii)   Purchase of Expensive Power from Outside the State  :-

MSEDCL has been making efforts to purchase power from other States although they are at very high rates.  Total purchase of power from outside has also got corridor availability i.e. transmission availability constraints.

MSEDCL had twice invited tenders but there was no response from any State or any Power Trader.  Power has thus become a completely sellers’ market as the deficit States like Chattisgarh, M.P., U.P., Delhi, Haryana & Punjab have all been trying to get as much power as possible from the few surplus States like West Bengal & Orissa.   Through extensive negotiations with Power  Traders like PTC, NVVN etc., MSEDCL was able to buy about 805 MW of peak power at rates ranging from Rs.3.50 per unit to Rs.4.30 per unit in October.

(viii)  Theft Reduction Drive :-

MSEDCL has undertaken a massive theft reduction drive.  In the last three months since its inception, more than 15000 theft cases have been caught.  With the support of the Police Deptt., it is possible to substantially reduce the power which goes towards theft.

6.      Principles of Load Shedding as decided by MERC :

            Earlier, the Principles for Load Shedding (i.e. which category of consumers on which areas will get how much load shedding) was being decided by MSEB.  Later, as per a Supreme Court Judgement, the load shedding principles have been prepared by MERC.  A summary of the load shedding programme is as follows :-

      The  divisions are ranked in four groups A, B, C, D as below



Weighted average loss and collection efficiency level( DCL 70/30)



Major Urban

Other Urban


Group A

0% to 28%

0% to 25%

0% to 25%


Group B

>28% to 38%

>25% to 35%

>25% to 35%


Group C

>38% to 53%

>35% to 50%

>35% to 50%


Group D

Above 53%

Above 50%

Above 50%


        The group wise hours of load shedding carried out to meet the existing system demand are as below


Load shedding hours



Major cities

Other Urban

















          A copy of MERC order on load shedding is also available on MERC’s Website www.mercindia.com.

7.      Some other Frequently Asked Questions about Load Shedding :-

Q(a) Why can’t  load shedding be done during the day time instead of the  evening ?

Ans.  The peak deficit between demand and supply is the highest in the evening hours (6.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m.).  As electricity can’t be stored, the maximum load shedding has to take place in the evening hours.

Q(b) Why can’t we use Koyna water for power generation where the dam is full because of excellent monsoon ?

Ans.  There is a limitation given by the Inter-State Water Tribunal that only 67.5 TMC of water, out of 100 TMC capacity of Koyna dam, can be used for power generation.  The water which is used for power generation goes towards the sea whereas the water which is not used for generation goes to fill up the dams in Karnataka.  With the limitation of 67.5 TMC, Koyna generation is limited to 3 to 4 hours per day.  As the peak demand is in the evening, Koyna generation is mainly done during these hours.

Q(c)  What are the steps which can be taken by the citizens to reduce load shedding ?

          The citizens can go in for Akshya Prakash Yojana in rural areas and Voluntary Urban Load Reduction Scheme in Urban areas as mentioned above.  Citizens can also contribute by using less electricity during the morning peak (6.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m.) and evening peak (6.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m.)  Steps like avoiding the use of ACs, ironing and other three phase usages during these time periods can bring a relief in load shedding.

8.      Efforts being made by MSEDCL towards giving better services to consumers :-

          Since the inception of the Company in June 2005, MSEDCL has prepared an action plan to focus on facing the following issues :-

(1)     Need to give uninterrupted and reliable service to the consumers.

(2)     Deteriorated Infrastructure.

(3)     Cash Loss of nearly Rs.1000 Crores.

(4)     High T&D Losses (35.2%) and low collection efficiency (90%)

          A Mission Statement and a Ten Point Action Plan has been prepared in this regard.  The Action Plan focuses on proactive planning of the Sub-division-wise load plans and construction work plans for five years.  Training of employees, use of latest technological tools like e-tendering, AMR, SCADA and energy accounting through transformer metering, facilities like Call Centres, ATMs are some of the thrust areas of the Action Plan.  The progress on these will be measured through 18 key performance indicators which are being put on the Internet.  We are hopeful that within two years, we will be able to tackle all the issues and turnaround the Company.



Last Modified: Monday, 08-Oct-2007 17:06:01 IST
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