Power cuts: No relief soon

Situation may improve after 2 months
Bengaluru: There will be no respite from the present power crisis in the state. In fact, the situation will only get worse over the next few days, warned energy experts. Irregular power supply in the city and in different parts of the state will impact industrial and agricultural production and also affect the prospects of attracting new investments, they said. “At the same time, industrial and agri sectors are not making optimal use of high volume of power being supplied to them. It is time that the government started regulating these sectors.
While the agriculture sector consumes around 37% of power for irrigation pumpsets, large and medium scale industries use up around 25%,” they said. Bescom is now planning to encourage industries to start functioning during non-peak hours to distribute the load better. Now, industries pay around Rs 1.25 extra per unit during peak load hours and Re 1 less during non-peak hours.
“We need some urgent reforms in the agricultural sector as power consumed is not accounted for. The number of irrigation pumpsets has grown from 7 lakh in 2007 to 24 lakh at present. In the last five years alone, the numbers have doubled. Power distribution companies should meter these pumpsets and regulate power being supplied to them,” an energy expert said.
“A similar situation prevails in the industrial sector too. Though it is contributing around 18 per cent of revenues to the state, the production has stagnated over the last several years. Companies are not confident of investing in the state, because of the present power situation,” he said.
“Energy department officials are blaming the failure of thermal power plants for the present crisis. But the authorities should have replaced old and worn out components in time to keep these plants running. Over the next two months, the state will not get any additional power, apart from its share of 1,800 mw, from the central grid,” he said.
Energy Department officials, however, said that power distribution will be streamlined by December. “The transmission line between Maharashtra and Karnataka through Solapur will be completed by December. The state is planning to source additional power by March, so that summer months could be bearable,” an official source said.

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( Source : deccan chronicle )
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