Mumbai, Kolkata: The Telengana heat is being felt across the country. With 45000 coal miners of Andhra Pradesh on a strike, several states are facing a huge power crunch due to coal shortage.
West Bengal, Delhi, Andhra, Karnataka and Maharashtra are particularly hit with 29 coal plants running on precariously low coal supplies and an overall power shortage of 8000 MW.
In Maharashtra, the urban areas are facing power cuts for 4-7 hours while people in rural areas have to live without electricity for 16 hours.
In West Bengal's capital Kolkata, power cuts can be as high as five hours.
"Power cuts are very hazardous. Customers have to wait for long hours; I have generators, but it won't run my air conditioner," said a shopkeeper in Kolkata.
Minister for Power Sushil Kumar Shinde, meanwhile, provides some hope that the things will get better saying that Diwali will be celebrated with light and the situation will improve in a few days.
But for now, five plants of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) have coal for just a couple of days. To tide over the immediate crisis the Cabinet has allowed NTPC and other firms to import coal.
While many states are facing a severe power crisis, Gujarat seems to be comfortable. The state has sold 13 million units of electricity to the national grid for supply to other states and has enough stock to sustain it at least for the month if the present power crisis continues.
Story first published:
October 14, 2011 23:09 IST