Karnataka faces shortage of 1,500mw of power

Bengalure: Despite increased power production by 3,000 mw from last year, Minister for Energy K.J. George on Monday said that Karnataka is facing a power shortage of 1,500 mw this year and the fall in power production in the State is attributed to low rainfall, no wind and less power production in its solar power plant owing to cloudy conditions. The daily power production in Karnataka stood at about 13,000 mw.

Taking a serious exception to a statement by Janata Dal Secular leader and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumarswamy that ‘Karnataka has plunged into darkness,’ George, exuded confidence of easing the power supply, said that Karnataka would get power from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and from Kudligi Thermal Power Station in Ballari which would ease the power situation.

Reacting to Kumaraswamy’s statement, George said the 400 kv line faced problems to get power from Uttar Pradesh and power supply from the Central Grid was delayed by a day which led to power disruptions in Karnataka and the Minister said “The problems were beyond our control.”

Besides, he said, solar plants would be set-up in Gadag and Kalaburagi districts to increase power production and in the meantime, a Solar Power Plant in Pavagada in Tumakuru district steps would be initiated to increase power production from its 2,300 mw. Farmers in Pavagada have evinced interest to give about 6,000 acres for Pavagada solar plant to expand its power production.

To increase power production, the Minister said, Thermal Power Stations in Karnataka have started to produce more power but these Thermal Plants are hit by the quality of coal supplied. Owing to rainfall in coal mining areas, he said, the coal supplied is of low quality and if low quality coal is used in Thermal Plants, then, it would result in breakdowns. The Minister said, “We are planning to import coal and blend it to produce power.”

Steps have been initiated to get power from private parties, said the Minister and assured the farmers of a 5-hour power supply and supplying power to farmers for 5-hours is not a problem at the moment.

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