Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Back to extensive load-shedding

Back to extensive load-shedding

Anil Kumar Sastry
Deficient rainfall is aggravating present power crisis in State


BANGALORE: Electricity supply companies have consumed less than the allocated units of power on Monday, indicating that they have resorted to extensive load-shedding across the State.

According to the data made available by Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. (KPTCL), Bangalore Electricity Supply Company was allocated 46.45 million units. However, the company consumed only 45.386 MU, owing to widespread load-shedding.

Similarly, the Escoms in Gulbarga consumed 11.657 MU as against the allocated 12.16 MU; in Mangalore it consumed 7.536 MU as against 8,79 MU, and in Chamundeshwari it consumed 9.243 MU as against 10.23 MU. Only Hubli Escom consumed more power than the allocation — 18.748 MU as against 16.370. The total allocation was 94 MU while the actual consumption was 92.57 MU on Monday.

A breakdown in the three units of Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS) coupled with lower generation of electricity by hydel power plants owing to poor rain in the catchment areas have made electricity supply companies resort to load-shedding — up to five hours in Bangalore and more than 10 hours in rural areas — over the past four days.

To overcome shortage of power, the Government on Tuesday decided to purchase about 595 MW of power from outside the State, according to Bescom Managing Director Tushar Girinath.

Three units of RTPS started malfunctioning on Saturday with KPTCL. RTPS units were being shut down during monsoon as the corporation used to produce more electricity from hydel power plants. Because of deficient rain, storage levels at the three major reservoirs are lower than the previous year, leading to drop in production, a senior KPTCL official said.

At Linganamakki, the water level was at 1,760.35 ft on Tuesday morning while it was 1,773.60 ft last year on the same day as against the maximum level of 1,819 ft. At the Supa reservoir too, the level was lower — 519.91 m as against 525.21 mts last year — as against the maximum level of 564 m. The Mani reservoir too recorded lower storage with just 575.07 m while it was 577.40 m last year as against the maximum level of 594.36 mts.

Though temperatures have come down due to onset of monsoon in Bangalore, the disruption in power supply is affecting citizens' daily routine. Bhagyalakshmi Subbanna, a homemaker in Banashanakri II Stage, said her daily chores — getting children ready for school and cooking — was severely hampered during the past four days.

Power supply was disrupted for over six hours in some localities whereas an average disruption across the city was for four hours. Even industrialists have faced the brunt of the erratic power supply. Hosamane Rajendra, who runs a small scale industry manufacturing ancillary automobile parts, said his unit's daily production had decreased by 50 per cent.

Situation improving

KPCL Managing Director S.M. Jaamdar is camping in Raichur to oversee the repair of the units. Even at Bellary Thermal Power Plant, KPTCL could not achieve the maximum production of 500 MW during the monsoon, again due to wet coal, the official said. The production had been ranging between 340 to 400 MW, he said.

Mr. Girinath, however, maintained that the situation had improved on Tuesday with RTPS resuming near-normal generation.

He said the load-shedding was being enforced on the schedule that was earlier followed. He hoped the situation would return to normal by Wednesday.

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