For first time in 36 years, Mumbai (read south Mumbai) may be subjected to scheduled power cuts. BEST general manager said that BEST would ask all the cinema halls in south Mumbai to cancel their noon shows to beat the power crisis. He said that "it won't make any difference if people don’t watch movies in the afternoon". What an absurd argument. I understand that there is power shortage and some power saving measures is need of the day. But what I find absurd is the way BEST manager is asking consumers to save the power. He doesn't show any concern or remorse that consumers would be affected by shortage in power and is almost insinuating as if watching movies on afternoon is a sort of frivolous activity which can be done without, almost as if watching noon shows is causing power shortage and by discontinuing these shows we can save power. If we have to extend the logic, we might as well say it won’t make any difference if we don’t use our TV sets during the day, stop using air conditioning, just use fans, and open shopping malls only during day. Some one might suggest that this would be good since it would make us free from our dependence on various machines gadgets and devices. It will be in keeping with Indian culture which has always encouraged frugality. BTW, how much power can we save my stopping noon movie shows!! Phenomenal? Or is it mere symbolic! I suggest that everybody voluntarily switch off lights in their house by 10 pm and sleep. After all, it will “not make any difference” .
One might say I am harping on power cuts in Mumbai when for most of rural Maharashtra, power cuts are way of life and has been like than for a long time. Unlike Mumbai which had power distribution in private sector, rural Maharastra is at mercy of government controlled MSEB and has been reeling under long hours of power cuts for many years now. So it was only inevitable that citizens of Mumbai also face the heat .Untill 1992, Maharashtra was a power surplus state and was selling power to other states. After Enron debacle, the state government lost the plot entirely and power situation since then has been deteriorating. What was government doing and thinking all this while! The problem is not that we are suddenly consuming more power; problem is that we are not producing enough power. Problem is with inadequate planning. When you are growing as fast as 8-10% annually and when you are dreaming of becoming a superpower, you would know that you would need power. Industries need power, cities need power, agriculture needs power, and economy needs power. It can not happen that we suddenly wake up one day and find that there is a shortfall of 4000MW of power. The power deficit has been increasing every year and state Governments hardly did anything other than distributing power free of cost to framers who are anyway finding it hard not to take their own lives. Today state of