Impact of COVID-19: Bane for many, boon for some

If the huge impact of coronavirus spread on the economy at large, including the loss of wage work to millions of those in the unorganised sector aside, the lockdown measures being implemented by the State government as part of the nation-wide shutdown have come as a blessing in disguise to the two power distribution companies running in losses.

With a major section of commercial establishments such as malls, cinema halls, restaurants and bars, showrooms of all sizes and public transport such as metro rail completely shut, service sectors such as banks, IT and ITES companies curtailing their on-site functioning by allowing as many employees as possible to work from home and many State and Central government offices running with skeletal staff, the demand for energy in the State has been on the slide for over a week now.

“Except the employees whose physical presence is inevitable in the IT and ITES company offices such as networking guys and some operations and maintenance staff the most of managements were allowing work-from-home to as many of their employees as possible to prevent the spread of virus,” G. Siva Darshan, an engineer working for a major IT company, said.

According to the officials of TS-Transco, the consumption of energy which clocked at 256.18 million units (MU) with the peak intra-day load on the system getting recorded as 12,548 MW on March 18, the first day of partial shutdown imposed by the State government, has come down to 202.5 MU on March 26 with the intra-day peak demand down to 10,019 MW. It has slipped further to about 9,850 MW on Friday.

“Consumption of energy by the agriculture sector is intact with the farming operations of the rabi cultivation going on a hectic pace. The demand is down from the commercial category and up from the domestic category with most of the working class forced stay at home,” a senior executive of the power utility explained.

He stated that the demand from the agriculture sector, served by several major and minor lift irrigation projects/schemes and about 24.2 lakh farm pump-set connections, would remain high with the standing crops being in the crucial phases of advanced vegetative growth, reproductive (panicle/cob/pod formation) and ripening (harvesting). The decrease in demand would mean lesser short-term purchases of power and a proportionate saving to the discoms, he explained.

On the other hand, the lockdown is boon for many retail vendors of groceries, vegetables and needs of daily life with most of them making a fast buck by jacking up prices. “The present situation is a peculiar example of the two sides of a coin,” the power utility official said.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 1:16:57 AM |

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