Mumbai: Businesses in India’s financial capital, Mumbai, are being asked to keep down air conditioning use, change light bulbs and put computers on sleep mode in a drive to conserve energy and prevent severe power shortages.
Power supplier Tata Power Co. Ltd said the city, which aspires to be a global financial hub and normally enjoys uninterrupted electricity, faced potential power cuts as demand peaks in April and May — the hottest months in the Mumbai calendar.
Demand for power has risen with shopping malls, cinemas and new luxury apartments springing up across the city, reflecting an economic boom that encourages spending on everything from refrigerators to plasma televisions.
In a letter sent to businesses this week, Tata Power Co. urged office workers not to use electricity at peak times, switch the air conditioning on an hour after starting work and flip off televisions and mobile phone chargers at the plug.
The company called on office workers to replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps to save electricity.
“Severe power shortage... together with Mumbai’s unprecedented lifestyle boom has pushed the city’s electricity demand beyond availability,” managing director Prasad Menon wrote.
Efforts were on to plug the power deficit, “yet this summer the city is faced with the spectre of power cuts,” he said.
Mumbai, home to many of India’s leading bankers and industrialists, normally has power all year round because of a decades-old network designed to keep going even when supplies are disrupted elsewhere in the region.
Tata Power says it is trying to buy 400-500 megawatts of extra power from other states to meet the shortage during the summer months.
Power shortages are common in many parts of India, with even large cities like New Delhi and IT hub Bangalore suffering regular cuts. Many businesses rely on generators to plug the gap.