Escoms resort to power cuts despite brimming reservoirs

9:41 AM, Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

waterBangalore: Reservoirs in the State may have enough water to meet the power requirements for the next six months but electricity supply companies (Escoms) have resorted to unscheduled load-shedding.

Reason? The Congress government wants to ensure there is not much power disruption during the summer when Lok Sabha elections will be held.

There have been at least four hours of unscheduled load-shedding across the State every day, even Bangalore has been witnessing power cuts for about 40 minutes. But reservoirs are not being utilised to their full capacity for power generation to meet the current demand. It is said the State government wants to ensure there is not much interruption in power supply during the summer when Lok Sabha elections are held. Any power cuts ahead of elections might affect the poll prospects of the ruling party, sources in the department of energy said, explaining the reasons for the present power crisis.

Reservoirs under Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) have enough water to generate an additional 1,500 million units (mu) of power to meet the requirement till June 2014.

“If there are any problems, they may be due to technical reasons. As far as the power situation is concerned, we are in a better position for at least next two to three months,” a top official told Deccan Herald on condition of anonymity. He added that with the available resources, the energy department had worked out to meet the requirements till the end of June.

Another source in the department confirmed that Escoms had resorted to unscheduled load-shedding in anticipation of problems during summer. “There has been a spurt in agricultural and horticultural activities in the State owing to good rainfall this year.

Farmers may use power indiscriminately for IP sets if no load-shedding is effected. In that case, power supply will be interrupted from March to May when school and college examinations are held,” the source explained. “The consumption in the State is 163 mu at present and the gap is just 10 million unit, which is not alarming.” When contacted, M R Sreenivasa Murthy, the chairperson of Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC), said Escoms must explain the reasons for power cuts as per the Electricity Act, 2003.

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