(Bloomberg) -- Power outages have been recorded across India after the current heatwave pushed electricity demand beyond a peak level forecast for this month.

Daily blackouts have been reported by 38% of the 15,000 households surveyed by the advocacy group LocalCircles. While most shortages lasted four hours or less, some respondents said their lights were out for up to 12 hours.

People in India’s north-west, which includes the states of Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab, are suffering under temperatures that can reach 47C (116.6F) during the hottest hours.

Another survey carried out in February, when the weather is cooler, found that only 20% of the respondents was facing daily shortages.

This year’s blistering summer has boosted electricity demand in the country, as citizens turn on fans and air-conditioners for longer. The blackouts come in the midst of the weeks-long national elections, during which central and state governments have been under increased pressure to maintain uninterrupted supplies. 

“Coal stocks are extremely healthy,” said a Ministry of Power spokesperson, speaking about the fuel that provides more than 70% of the country’s power. “The current coal stock is at 45 million tons, compared to 34 million tons last year.”

Peak electricity demand in the country nudged past 235 gigawatts on Wednesday, a record for May and slightly above the power ministry’s forecasts for the current month. 

“The measures we have taken have enabled us to meet this demand and will continue to do so,” the spokesperson said.

Electricity demand in New Delhi maxed out at 8 gigawatts on Wednesday, a record high. 

In Greater Noida, in the capital’s outskirts, angry residents walked out in the middle of the night on Sunday, protesting over a recent blackout that stretched for nearly 12 hours, the Times of India reported. 

Residents are facing “immense hardship due to frequent power outages, voltage fluctuations and inadequate supply”, local lawmaker Dhirendra Singh wrote in a letter to the power distributor Noida Power Co. Ltd. In response, Noida Power said that outages happened because of improper handling of the internal transformers at one of the apartments.

In the eastern state of Jharkhand, consumers are facing regular power cuts despite milder temperatures.

“The un-announced outages are becoming a problem for continuous process industries in the state,” said Philip Mathew, Chairman and Managing Director of Mangalam Lubricants based in the state’s capital Ranchi. “Even though the power cuts don’t last very long, the frequency of outages is taking a toll on the machinery.”     

(Updates in 3rd paragraph with temperature data, and in the second half of the story with details about local impacts of power shortages.)

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