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SMEs bear the brunt of power cuts in UP

Vishnu Pandey  |  New Delhi/ Kanpur 

Central Uttar Pradesh is reeling under acute power shortage with districts like Mahoba and Akbarpur facing scheduled and unscheduled power cuts of up to 20 hours a day. This has resulted in the closure of around 250 small and medium industrial units in these areas.

The situation is more worse in neighbouring Farrukhabad district, known for its printing and publishing units, where over 120 villages have been without power for the last 18 days.

The industrial city of Kanpur is facing a shortage of over 150 Megawatt (MW), resulting in around ten hours of power cuts daily.

According to Indian Industries Association regional president Sunil Vaishya, over 3,000 SMEs spread across the city have suffered an estimated loss of Rs 4,000 crore in the last three months due to inadequate power supply.

“The power generated by private generators is unviable for industrial production as they cost Rs 11-12 per unit as against Rs 4.5 per unit provided by the power distributor,” told Vaishya.

Although industrial cuts have declined from 15 hours last month to 10 hours now, there are over 10,000 power generators of above 40 Mw capacity in the city, which is giving sleepless nights to the Pollution Control Board.

In the Sumerpur industrial area, which was once home to around 378 industrial units, now has only 13. Most of them have closed due to lack of power. Urai district, which had 12 steel fabrication units, now has only two. Most of them have migrated to Uttarakhand and Mumbai.

The future of leather processing centres in Unnao, where the demand-supply gap is 170 Mw, too is looking bleak. Tannery units here have reported around 35 per cent drop in production.

Vaishya said despite the poor power situation industrialists are upbeat as the power situation was showing signs of improvement following Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation’s assurance of regular supply to the three major industrial areas of Kanpur.

First Published: Tue, June 02 2009. 00:44 IST