Special Correspondent

MUMBAI: Maharashtra faced an unprecedented shortage of 6000 MW on Wednesday forcing the state electricity distribution agency, Mahavitaran, to launch a series of emergency measures, including increased load shedding and controls on power usage in government offices, malls and industries.

Ajay Bhushan Pandey, managing director, Mahavitaran told reporters on Thursday that the demand in the State was 14,200 MW and the supply was 9000 MW. The average load shedding was 5200 MW, higher than it was in summer.

The lack of rain and heavy agricultural demand was causing the problem, he said. As a result of the emergency load shedding, big cities supplied by Mahavitaran will have power cuts between five to eight hours, smaller cities between 8 to 9 and a half hours and rural areas from 13 hours now to 14 hours a day. The city of Mumbai is free of load shedding thanks to uninterrupted supply so far from Reliance Energy and Tatas.

From Friday, industries will have staggered power cuts of 40 hours a week, up from 16 hours a week. Government offices, municipalities, IT industries and high tension consumers have been asked to reduce power consumption by 10 per cent failing which action can be initiated against them.