Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Some areas face 6-hr power cut

Some areas face 6-hr power cut
TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Bangalore: Many areas of the city plunged into darkness on Tuesday. Power cuts in some areas extended even up to six hours.
Sajjan Raj Mehta of Basavanagudi called up this paper to say: “From morning to evening, there was a two-hour cut. Then, power went at 8 pm and we are still in the dark. My daughter has II PUC exam on Wednesday. I was so worried that I called up the Bescom MD and all KV operators in the area. They said they will think of a change-over. But nothing has happened yet,” he told this paper at 10 pm.
Another fuming citizen from Horamavu Agara said there were cuts six times during the day, one hour each. “I, as a dutiful citizen, voted. And, is this what the government is giving me in return?” he said. “Tell the CM that it is 23/7 power cuts and not power, that is happening now,” said Srikumar from Kattriguppe, whose area suffered cuts at regular intervals throughout the day. Residents of RT Nagar, too, complained of power cuts. NEEDED DESPERATELY: RAIN
Only That’ll Save Us From Severe Power Cuts
Bangalore: If you think the power situation in Karnataka is bad, steel yourself for worse over the next two weeks as reservoir levels are expected to plummet, resulting in lower generation by hydel stations.
The storage levels in major reservoirs remain below 30% of their capacity. “Only copious rain can save the state from power cuts,’’ said a senior energy department official.
This apart, scarcity of fuels, including coal, gas and uranium, is seriously affecting power generation. This has resulted in restriction in availability of power, especially from the Karwar power plant which has generation capacity of well over 1,000 MW.
Also, about five units at thermal power stations in Raichur and Bellary are down due to technical snags. “It may take 2 or 3 days to make them operational again,’’ officials added.
So, where does that leave chief minister B S Yeddyurappa’s announcement about buying 350 MW from sugar mills? Officials said it was “just a tip of the iceberg’’. They said the current power deficit is over 20 Million Units. On an average, the demand is about 140 MU. But, according to officials, the deficit is sometimes even 30 MU with provision for load shedding.
Even as the demand for power increases by the day, the state finds itself in a situation where it cannot buy additional power, simply because distribution companies (Escoms) are also fundstarved. They’ve run out of the available credit from banks. But more than the money, officials say the possibility of purchasing power from other states is bleak. States who want additional power should have reserved these power corridors around January.
If the government buys power, it would have to spend about Rs 12 crore a day to bridge the deficit of 20 MU at the rate of Rs 8-Rs 10 per unit as it did during the run-up to the BBMP polls. In this period, the state paid a steep price for power, leaving a mammoth burden of nearly Rs 100 crore on the exchequer.
This power was purchased from the private sector. Postpoll, the state cannot afford to purchase power at such rates. Officials said there was no other option left: “Rotational power cuts cannot be avoided under any circumstances.’’

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