“NEW DELHI: The faltering monsoon has pushed the country to the brink of severe shortages of power and drinking water, apart from hurting crop planting as India’s biggest water reservoirs need to be quickly replenished to generate electricity and irrigate fields for the rest of the year.
The situation can still be retrieved if the monsoon revives quickly, as forecast by the weather office, but the rainfall deficit has widened in the past week and total rains in the season are 31% below average, which has reduced rice planting by 26% compared with last year. This has also dried up many reservoirs, particularly in Maharashtra and Karnataka, where the water table has dipped sharply.
Hydroelectricity supply usually peaks in the monsoon months of July and August, allowing coal-fired power stations to plan maintenance shutdowns during this period. But this year, the power situation has deteriorated as demand has soared beyond what utilities had anticipated while many plants are idling or underutilised due to scarcity of coal and gas.”
Read more: The Economic Times