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Home News Power Sector News Villages in Karnataka will not have more than 14 hours power- Eshwarappa

Villages in Karnataka will not have more than 14 hours power- Eshwarappa

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EshwarappaBrace up for a `power’less Karnataka for most part of the day from August 1 even though most of the state’s major hydel reservoirs may either have been completely or nearly filled up. At a time when all the five energy supply companies  (ESCOMs) in the state have urged the Karnataka Energy Regulatory Commission (KERC) to approve a stiff hike of 50 paise per unit on domestic consumers and even stiffer hike on other categories of consumers, which of course is yet to be conceded, state’s energy minister K S Eshwarappa has announced that villages will not have power supply for 14 hours while towns and cities, including Bangalore city, will have to do without power supply for two hours.

Surprisingly, the minister said the decision on load shedding will be valid for two months from August 1 till September 30. ``We will review the situation afterwards and take appropriate decision,’’ he said.

Not just that. Eshwarappa promised to do his best to ensure that consumers in Bangalore city, which is the highest revenue earning centre and has the largest consumer base, is supplied power for 24 hours. But, he did not extend such an assurance in respect of consumers in other parts of the state.

The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) will impose load-shedding two hours a day in Bangalore City – one hour each during peak hours in the morning and in the evening, he said. To a question on the power supply to industries located in Bangalore, he said 24/7 power would be supplied to them if they are agreed to pay higher tariff. ``We want to help the industries requiring high tension power to the extent possible as closure would affect production and even loss of jobs,’’ he explained.

Eshwarappa indicated that officials of all electricity supply companies would announce the schedule of power supply in villages and urban areas on Friday.

"The load-shedding rota will be in force in August and September in the entire State. We will try our best to supply power 24/7 in Bangalore,’’ he said.

Addressing reporters following the deliberations of Wednesday’s cabinet sub-committee, the minister said all villages in the state would get electricity only for 10 hours a day as per the load-shedding rota prepared by all power supply companies.

Villages would get only five hours of three-phase supply, which allows operation of irrigation pumpsets by farmers, and another five hours of single-phase power, when lighting, radios or television sets can be used, a day, he said.

Karnataka’s present power generation, according to Eshwarappa, was 117 million units (MU) a day against the demand for 120 MUs. The hydro-power plants were generating 40 MUs and thermal plants 37 MUs. The state was getting barely 27 MU from the Central grid and 12 MU from non-conventional sources and 1 MU from independent power producers.

Blaming the Centre for its meagre allotment of 800 MW against the total allocation of 1,543 MW from the Central grid, Eshwarappa explained that it was the main reason for the crisis. ``Continued dry spells in the Mysore region and consumption of energy by IP sets increased in the demand for power,’’ he said pointing out that the demand, generally increase by 10 to 20 % a year in the State.

The demand for power would increase from 120 MUs in August to 125 MUs in September while generation would increase from 117 MUs to 119 MUs. Based on two month’s experience, he said announcing that the Department would spell out its plan for the rest of the year in October.

He said a 250 MW plant would commence generation at Raichur Thermal Power Station by this year-end.

"The thermal power plant set up by Lanco in Udupi would commence generation in next January or February,’’ he said.

Special squads headed by Assistant Executive Engineers would be formed in all taluks for attending problems such as transformer failure, burning of power lines and erection of electric poles. The squad would be given all required equipment, a vehicle and a separate telephone facility to set right the problem in 24 hours, he said adding that any person having electricity related problems can contact the squads in their respective area.

The decision to form squads at the taluk level was taken based on the experiment in Chikmagalur district. Many electricity poles were uprooted in the district in the recent rain havoc. But the power supply returned to normalcy within a month, he claimed.

Noting that the Grama Panchayts had pending bills of Rs 1200 crore to different ESCOMs, he said they have been asked to clear the bills related to water supply and other connections soon.

With by-elections to five assembly constituencies scheduled to be held on August 18 and elections to Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike likely in the next couple of months, now that the government has received a temporary reprieve from the high court from its July 31 deadline for holding them, it remains to be seen whether the B S Yeddyurappa-led BJP government will be able to stick to its tough load-shedding schedule so early in the year when the monsoon season is still on.

Meanwhile, the Opposition parties have already opened fire at both the chief minister and the energy minister for their mishandling of the power situation. Congress opposition leader V S Ugrappa said the government’s decision announced by Eshwarappa on the very next day after the end of the monsoon session of the state legislature on Wednesday was ``nothing but a Tughlaq Durbar.’’

Recalling the energy minister’s frequent flip-flops on the power situation, especially the on and off announcements on load-shedding, last year, Ugrappa felt the BJP rule was a ``curse on the people and plunge the state into darkness."

Source - Daijiworld Media Network

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