The residents of Madhya Pradesh have been experiencing over 20 hours of unscheduled power cuts on a daily basis. This has been happening despite MP being a power surplus state.
These long hours of power cuts are a source of agony for all citizens, but especially the farmers.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s government is beginning to face blowback from not only the opposition but also from the ruling BJP’s own MLAs.
The state signed power purchasing agreements for 21,000 megawatts (MW) per day. This includes state-based units, the private sector, and the central pool, while demand is only around 9,000 MW.
Yet, it has to buy more power to avoid cuts even as generation from state units is only 7,900 MW a day.
Madhya Pradesh has been witnessing dysfunctional power generation
Reportedly, nine of the state’s 16 power-generating projects are currently dysfunctional.
Meanwhile, many of the state’s power generating units not functioning at all. And, even the rest are operating at roughly only 30 percent capacity. Of those operational, the hydroelectric plants produce only 457 MW of their declared 2,500 MW capacity.
An operating thermal plant with a capacity of 5,000 MW is generating only 1,800 MW. This roughly implies the two segments are functioning at only 30 percent of their cumulative capacity of over 7,500 MW.
Madhya Pradesh MPs and MLAs have released several statements regarding the issue
Narayan Tripathi, the Maihar MLA has said.
“Parts of the Vindhya region are reeling under frequent load-shedding and power cuts for almost 20 hours a day. Farmers’ pleas have fallen on deaf ears and power company officials are misguiding,”
Even BJP leaders talked about the power cuts in their demonstrations. “The power companies do not inform farmers before load-shedding or power cuts. If the situation continues, it will sink the BJP government for sure,”, they said.
Furthermore, BJP MLA, Rakesh Giri of Tikamgarh district wrote to the sitting CM urging him to fix the issue because 12-15 hour unscheduled power cuts were causing resentment among people in his constituency.