Power Issues – Is Load Shedding the only option?

light bulb in front of thatched roofLight bulb. Picture: Thamizhpparithi Maari

As people of the state and country are bearing the burden of increased load shedding sweating out for hours together without any electricity, there seems to be little questioning on why this is so. Speculation abounds – inadequate coal, manipulation for price hikes, creating a perception of scarcity to ensure don’t object to new projects soon to be passed…

Whatever the reason, the sharp increase in power outages is causing problems for people.Food spoilage within the home and in shops, offices without big power backups unable to function at proper efficiency, inconvenience, and often impact on other utilities without the power to run them like internet outages or water shortage when pumps don’t work. Small businesses like flour mills and tailors end up idling away hours on end.

Surely this has an economic cost as well? The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi had threatened to revoke licences of utilities that engaged in power outages. Is it time for other governments to adopt the same policy?

But for the longer term, the country also needs to have a vision of energy self sufficiency that goes beyond uncontrolled consumption and uncontrolled production to fuel the uncontrolled consumption. There is a need to rationalize consumption and bring it down as well as the need to expand capacity. The current practice of providing for electricity seems to be about providing abundant electricity where there is a density of people willing to throw money at it, and leaving the rest to cope on remains.

Surely equality demands that all citizens be ensured basic 24 hour access first before unlimited use for some?

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