Ever since the city started facing power shortage around 1990, Mumbaikars have been paying more for the additional supply the city requires, especially during summers.
But the scenario might soon change and the bills might come down if Tata Power’s plan to lay another 22-km-long power network materialises in the next four years.
Power companies believe that once the network is set up in the next four years, at a cost of Rs 1,100 crore, the average per unit cost of electricity will decrease by 2016. Experts also believe that this augmentation is a must.
The company plans to install a sixth cable network between Vikhroli and Nagothane that will allow the city and its suburbs to obtain additional electricity.
“It will allow us to procure around additional 900 MW from outside. Presently, there is a tremendous load on the existing five lines through which electricity is supplied to Mumbai,” said S Padmanabhan, executive director (Operations) from Tata Power.
The five lines that supply electricity to the city are Trombay-Dharavi, Dharavi-Salset (Bhandup), Salset-Borivli, Trombay-Backbay and Dharavi-Backbay. They supply 2,600 MW and are a part of the network connected to the state grid at Kalwa. It is here the power companies get access to procure electricity imported from other states.
It has been observed that city’s power consumption during summer season and the month of October goes up to around 3,100 MW. The reason is excessive usage of air conditioners, air coolers and fans, among others, which happens during peak hours from 11 am to 1 pm and 7 pm to 9 pm. This extra consumption of electricity burdens the existing network and the distributors struggle to get additional electricity.
Currently, Tata Power and Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) generate about 2,300 MW of electricity.
Expressing his point of view, a power expert said, “In order to meet the shortage, companies end up paying around Rs 10 per unit or more to acquire extra electricity. This additional charge is passed onto us. Also, some amount of electricity is lost during transmission.”