Coal being transported from coal mines of Central Coal Limited (CIL) at Bharkunda area in Ramgarh district, Jharkhand on October 11, 2021. Image Credit: PTI

Patna/Dehradun: As the electricity generation was hit due to coal shortage in the country, its effect has started showing in Bihar with many districts facing more than 10 hours of power outage for the last few days.

According to an official, Bihar required 6,500megawatt electricity but the state government managed to get only 4,700 megawatt. The contribution of the central government is 3,200 megawatt and the state government is purchasing the remaining 1,500 megawatt from the open market at the cost of Rs20 per unit.

Such a situation arose after the federal government reduced power supply by more than 20 per cent. As a result, many districts especially in North Bihar are not receiving adequate power supply.

Muzaffarpur district has the largest grid in North Bihar. The state government is using its feeders in rotation to supply electricity to other districts.

Saharsa district normally gets 50 megawatt but now due to reduced power supply, it is receiving only 35 megawatt. Similarly, Madhepura is getting only 80 megawatt instead of 100 megawatt, Araria is getting 100 megawatt instead of 120 megawatt, Katihar is receiving 75 megawatt instead of 90 megawatt, Kishanganj is getting only 20 megawatt while its normal capacity is 60 megawatt, Purnea is getting 110 megawatt instead of 150 megawatt, Lakhisarai is getting 20 megawatt while its normal capacity is 25 megawatt, Khagaria is receiving 15 megawatt while is capacity is 40 megawatt, Munger is receiving 70 megawatt while its requirement is 90 megawatt.

Besides, districts like Banka, Bhojpur, Aurangabad, Buxar, Saran, Gopalganj, Jahanabad, Gaya and Arwal are also receiving 20 to 30 per cent less electricity supply.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said that the state government is working hard to procure power to avoid cuts. Electricity supply will not be disrupted in the state, he had said.

Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries claims that lower supply has not affected industries in the state. The officials believe that the majority of the units are closed due to Durga Puja.

“As the Durga Puja is currently underway in the state, the majority of the industrial units are shut. It could affect production if the state government would not act swiftly. I personally believe that the state government is taking measures to bring the situation under control,” said Amit Mukherji, general secretary of Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand Power Corporation Ltd (UPCL) is buying expensive electricity to normalise the supply quota as per the demand, UPCL administration said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, 2.3 million units of electricity were purchased at the rate of 7.56 paise per unit.

The UPCL administration said that there will be a demand of 41 million units of electricity on Wednesday, while only 39.3 million units of electricity will be available for supply.

“In such a situation, due to the shortage of 1.7 million units of electricity, there will be a power cuts in some areas. Electricity in rural areas is being cut so that there is no difference in cities.”

Meanwhile, central government sources said that the situation will be normal within a month. There is no shortage in daily power and coal supply.

According to the sources, the Central Government is likely to ramp up per day coal production from 1.94 million tonnes to 2 million tonnes in the next 5 days.

The Ministry of Power on Monday requested all States and Union Territories to use unallocated power only to supply electricity to its consumers in the State and not impose load shedding or sell it in power exchanges at higher prices.