Haryana’s industrial sector, including the important hub of Manesar, has been hit hard by a fortnight’s power crisis. In particular, the state’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses were hardest hit, as long power outages also cut off water supplies to industries, leaving these units dependent on tankers to meet needs.
Planned power outages lasting 8-10 hours overnight, as well as frequent unplanned outages lasting 30 minutes to an hour during the day, have brought the industry, particularly MSMEs, to its knees, claimed Manmohan Gaind, general secretary of Manesar Industries Welfare Association. “It’s been like this for two to three weeks. Such a power crisis is unprecedented. Government power management has been excellent for the past four to five years, but this summer the situation is very grim,” Mr Gaind said.
Adding to industry concerns, high fuel prices are making it difficult for factory owners to run diesel generator sets for long hours. “The DG sets can be used as backup power for a shorter period of time and not to keep the factory running for hours. With diesel prices up to £100 per litre, the cost of running a DG set is around £30 per unit,” Mr Gaind observed.
Onkar Singh Galla, owner of Hypnotic Clothings, Industrial Model Township, Manesar, said he ran a DG unit for an average of about three hours each day to meet the unit’s power needs. “There’s little point in complaining since nobody’s listening,” claimed Mr Galla.
The power outages, which lasted for hours, have also affected the water supply to Manesar’s industry as the water pumping stations are not running at full capacity. The factory owners said they are being forced to meet demand from water tankers, increasing costs. Mr Galla said while his unit has no problems with the water supply as it is close to the water pumping station, those further from the station are having difficulties.
Narinder Chhikara, vice president of Bahadurgarh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the situation is no different in Jhajjar’s Bahadurgarh area and the power supply from the grid is only available 6-7 hours a day to reach the production. He claimed that the authorities had offered reassurances over the past 10 days but the situation had not improved.
Bahadurgarh, a major industrial city of Haryana, has about 9,000 MSMEs, including footwear, automobile, spare parts and industrial manufacturing units, directly and indirectly employing about 7.5,000 people.
Haryana Energy Minister Ranjit Singh said the state will receive about 1,500MW of additional energy in 10 days. He said that three blocks of 250MW each in Panipat, two blocks of 600MW each in Khedar and two blocks of 300MW each in Yamunanagar are currently in operation. In addition, 1,400 MW of electricity was arranged by Adani Power Plants. Mr Singh added that 1,000MW of additional electricity would be sourced from Adani, 350MW from Chhattisgarh and 150MW from Madhya Pradesh. If needed, more electricity would be arranged by the market and there would be no shortage of electricity even during peak hours, Mr Singh assured.