Lucknow, Apr 17: Uttar Pradesh continues to battle severe power crunch with several areas going under darkness, due to poor availability of power across the state.
The situation has been prevailing for the past one month, even before the summers set in, with excessive load on the Northern Grid hampering adequate import from the central sector.
The burgeoning power demand in the scorching heat is already posing problems for the residents.
There are urban areas where power cuts are of 16 hrs duration while several areas especialy rural are having power cuts in the night as well.
Erratic power supply has affected other essential services like water and health.
Against peak hour demand touching 7,000 Mw in the state, the generation is pegged around 2,000 Mw and despite the central import of about 3,000 Mw, there was a gap of 2000 Mw between demand and supply.
The total installed capacity in Uttar Pradesh is about 3400 Mw, thermal power being the main source.
The combined capacity of Uttar Pradesh thermal units, comprising power stations at Anapara, Obra, Panki, Paricha and Harduaganj, was at about 2,000 Mw, while the meagre contribution of hydro power have plummeted to naught as water level in Rihand dam is below the required level, Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) sources said.
The state government has already restricted power supply to industries only in the day time, while all big towns barring Lucknow, Aligarh, Allahabad, Meerut and Rampur being subjected to massive power cuts much to the discomfort of the people.
A senior UPPCL officer told UNI that the situation was not likley to improve in the near future and people were destined to face acute power shortage this summers also. ''Although we try to compensate by import, the undue pressure on the Grid is making it difficult.'' The Centre, however, gave some relief to the state power authorities by postponing the closing of 500 Mw Singruali unit for maintenance. This unit is a significant contributor to the Northern Grid.
Meanwhile, the Northern Grid continues to be under 'strain' with its frequency hovering around 48 Hz.
The Northern India Load Despatch Centre had already warned UPPCL a few days ago to avoid excessive import from the central sector in order to avoid undue pressure on the grid.
For the last fortnight, there had been reports of protests from various districts, where the residents took to the streets in view of erratic power supply.
While scheduled rostering has thrown normal life out of gear in most parts of Uttar Pradesh, unscheduled power cuts have added to the woes of the residents.