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Home KSEB Minister rules out withdrawal of power restrictions in Kerala

Minister rules out withdrawal of power restrictions in Kerala

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Kerala AssemblyThe Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) will end the year with a deficit of Rs.1,140 crore despite fall in the price of naphtha and consequent fall in the purchase price of thermal power. Hence, there is no question of the KSEB rolling back the additional power tariff or the thermal surcharge,  Kerala Electricity Minister Sri. A. K. Balan informed the Assembly. He was replying to a submission by Sri. K. Babu MLA in the Assembly.  Despite imposing power restrictions on HT/EHT and LT consumers and thermal surcharge, the KSEB’s losses upto November this year has been pegged at Rs 490 crore, he said.

The Minister said that the current storage in the state’s hydel reservoirs was only 2713 million units. Last year, it was 3524 million units. The Idukki dam has water for generating just 1073 million units, 50 percent of its capacity.

The KSEB has recovered only Rs 130 crore through the imposition of the surcharge and power restrictions on domestic consumers, he said. The thermal surcharge imposed on August 20, 2008, has brought in only Rs 76 crore upto November 1. The power cut - 20 percent on HT/EFT and LT consumers other than domestic - accounts for another Rs 54 crore.

Between April 1 and November 1, the KSEB spent Rs 1020 crore on buying 1331 million units of thermal power from outside. The sum allocated by the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission for power purchase during this period is only Rs 400 crore.

If power supply is to be continued in the present state, the KSEB will have to purchase 2850 million units upto May 31, 2009, the minister said. Despite the fall in naphtha prices, KSEB will have to spend another Rs 1000 crore on power purchase. Continuing the power restrictions in the current mode will bring in only Rs 350 crore, he said.

A weak monsoon coupled with meagre supply from the Central Generating Stations (CGS) is being cited as the cause for the present crisis. Also, by March next, daily consumption is set to touch 50 million units a day, which will mean an increase in the purchase of costly thermal power from outside.

While the state is entitled to 1041 MW a day from the CGS, supply is swinging between 600-700 MW and had even gone down to 400MW.


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