94% of households in UP surveyed confirm experiencing daily power outages in June; 74% of them say facing multiple outages daily that last more than 2 hours
- ● 65% of them are facing power outages 3 or more times on an average each day
June 18, 2023, New Delhi: As maximum temperature levels hover between 42 to 48 degree Celsius in most parts of Uttar Pradesh, the rise in demand for electricity has overwhelmed the state’s power infrastructure. For instance in Noida, the power demand has been recorded at around 1,600MW, up from 1,200-1,300MW recorded during the last couple of weeks in May and beginning of June, when unseasonal showers kept temperature at lower than normal levels during this time of the year. Currently however as the temperature rises the power demand and supply seems mismatched leading to outages for one to three hours. Complaints of power cuts are coming from cities and towns, including the capital Lucknow, where the peak demand has surged past the expectations and availability. The situation appears worse in rural areas and small towns, according to reports.
Power officials said there was no shortage in supply but the peak demand during night hours is likely to cross the previous year's June peak. The state Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) is providing 4276 MW of electricity and the state is sourcing additional power supply from the national grid. Despite adequate supply, the state is facing problems due to inadequacies in the transmission infrastructure and bane of power thefts.
“Power supply gets disrupted at some places due to local breakdowns like the explosion of transformers, bursting of underground cable, or breakage of overhead wires. The main issue is overloading due to increased demand. The problem is aggravated due to power theft by dishonest consumers, who use ‘katiya’ connections to run ACs throughout the night. Recently, we found power pilferage to be the main reason behind overloading in some localities, UPPCL chairman M Devraj is reported to have said.
Responding to the aggrieved citizens' reports on social media platforms including its own platform across 40 plus districts of the state, LocalCircles conducted a survey to gauge how bad the situation is. The survey received over 14,000 responses from citizens located in 56 districts of Uttar Pradesh. 69% respondents were men while 31% respondents were women.
94% of households in UP surveyed say they have been facing power outages daily in June; 65% of them are facing power outages 3 or more times on an average each day
The survey first asked residents of the state “On average, how many times has power been going off in June (from the utility company) at your home each day?” Over 7000 responded to the query with 29% indicating 1-2 times; 35% of respondents indicating 3-5 times; 18% indicated 6-10 times; 12% indicated they have been witnessing power going off 10-20 times a day, while 6% of respondents stated that they have no knowledge as “we have 24X7 power backup”. In effect, 94% of households in UP surveyed say they have been facing power outages daily in June; 65% of them are facing power outages 3 or more times on an average each day.
74% of households surveyed in UP have been facing over 2 hours of power outages in June
The survey next sought to know the duration of these outages. To the question “on average, how many hours of power outages (from the utility company) have you been experiencing each day at your home in the month of June” out of 7,035 respondents 49% indicated 2-4 hours. Of the remaining 14% of respondents indicated 1-2 hours outages; 25% indicated 4-8 hours and 12% opted for “can’t say” or no clear response. The data shows that 74% of households surveyed in UP have been facing over 2 hours of power outages in June so far as maximum temperatures stay between 42 and 48 degrees centigrade.
In summary, it is unfortunate that despite the preparedness claims by power corporations in the state, over 90% of households are facing daily power outages in the current month and 74% are facing outages of over 2 hours in a day in one of the most populous states despite getting supplies through the national power grid. The scenario is not unique to this year as last year too was harsh on consumers. It is fortunate that the weather gods favoured most of the north India states with unseasonal rains in May and early days of June or the situation could have been worse. Going by the statements in the media, it is disheartening that apart from power theft, the power infrastructure in Uttar Pradesh has proved to be inadequate to handle the peak demand during the hot and sultry days and nights before the onset of the summer monsoon. It appears all the various central government schemes to bailout the power distribution companies have not resulted in investment to improve the infrastructure.
The survey received over 14,000 responses from citizens located in 56 districts of Uttar Pradesh. 69% respondents were men while 31% respondents were women. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants were validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.