Swathi.V

HYDERABAD: Weather pundits predicting this summer to be the hottest ever and the temperatures soaring by two degrees on an average, power scenario could be much grimmer this time round. Indications are already visible with many areas in the city experiencing power cuts to the extent of two hours per day. Weekly power holidays for industries, that came much later last year, are already here in March and are expected to rise as the heat catches up.

One more disturbing aspect adding to the severity of the situation is the rise in the consumption. Compared to last year, power consumption in the city has soared phenomenally, giving the officials goose-bumps about the supply position.

“Growth in consumption is very high. This year, it has already exceeded that of last May. It could easily peak at over 22 million units this summer,” says the Chief General Manager of CPDCL Metro Zone Victoria Krupadanamma.

Statistics

While the highest daily consumption for the Metro Zone stood at 15.43 million units in the month of February last year, the same for the current year hovered around 18.5 million units as recorded on February 27. This indicates an increase of 20 per cent, which could prove to be ominous at macro level. At this rate, the consumption could easily cross 20 million units well before May this year. While the highest load during last February was 853.8 MW, this year, it crossed 933 MW which is more than the 916 MW recorded even in March last year.

“Much of the rise is from commercial and domestic establishments. Use of air-conditioners, coolers and refrigerators is the maximum during summer months. Any rise in temperatures is bound to have an impact on the power consumption,” says an official. Sale of over one lakh air-conditioners was cause for much concern last year and the figure is poised for improvement this time round. Despite slump in real estate, the Metro Zone recorded nearly 59,000 new power connections over the last one year upto December 2008.

Of these, about 52,000 were domestic connections while the commercial category recorded about 6,500 connections. In the industrial category, the new connections are 163.