Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Don’t worry, says govt; but city’s facing outage

Don’t worry, says govt; but city’s facing outage
TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Bangalore: We are buying power, power-generation units are OK now, say the powersthat-be on Monday. But what is the ground situation?
Officially: There is only two hours of load shedding in the city, says Bescom MD Tushar Girinath.
Unofficially: Unscheduled power cuts range from three to five hours.
Officially: Chief minister B S Yeddyurappa says 500 MW of power has been available since Sunday night.
Unofficially: No improvement in the power situation. Officially: On Monday, Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd MD SM Jaamdar said BTPS units had started generating 200 MW of power, and one unit of Raichur Thermal Power Station had started functioning.
Unofficially: The situation is expected to improve in the coming days.
Can Bangaloreans expect some relief ?
No. Bescom says it is not obliged to tell you how many hours of power cuts it plans to impose. If power generation dips, there will be power cuts in addition to the scheduled load shedding, says the Bescom MD. This statement has not shed any light on what the power situation will be in the days to come.
“I don’t think the schedule announced five months ago holds relevance now. We face unscheduled power cuts every day. On Monday, there was no power for at least five hours,” says an exasperated Shanthala Devi, a resident of Ramamurthy Nagar.
Are authorities listening?
KERC chief M R Sreenivasa Murthy’s advice: people should start using more energy-efficient electrical devices.
AS ON MONDAY IN CITY Power demand: 1,600-1,700 MW Supply: 1,400 MW Shortage: 200-300 MW We will cut power as we please, says Bescom Senthalir S | TNN
Bangalore: Officially, there is only two hours of load shedding in Bangalore. And Bescom is not obliged to tell you how many more hours you will be in darkness.
This because... “We have not withdrawn the notification to cut two hours of power in Bangalore. Hence, officially, load shedding in the city is only for two hours. There is no need to issue a fresh notification announcing scheduled cuts. But if power generation dips, there will be power cuts in addition to the scheduled load shedding,” Bescom MD Tushar Girinath told TOI on Monday.
Last week, when angry industry representatives who were facing severe business losses due to the eight-hour power cut approached Shamim Banu, principal secretary, energy department, she had promised them that the government
would come up with a new schedule for power cuts on Monday.
But the Bescom MD drew a blank when asked about the energy secretary’s promised announcement. “There is no need for a fresh schedule now,’’ he said.
Senior Bescom officials said: “For rural areas, there will be 12 hours of load shedding, with six hours of single phase and six hours in three phases. This schedule, which was announced five months ago, will continue.”
Peenya industrial area had been promised power supply from 8.30am to 6.30pm, and Rajajinagar and Kamakshipalya were to get power from 10am to 6pm. During the nights, supply was scheduled from 10.30pm to 6.30am.
“The power supply situation improved on Monday. Bescom has kept its promise. People in Peenya are happy with the power supply. However, it was not so in Rajajinagar and Kamakshipalya. They experienced power interruptions. We have to wait for another two or three days to see whether the situation has improved,” said Karnataka Small and Medium Scale Industries president S S Biradar.
But, domestic consumers are still furious as unscheduled power cuts continue. Ayesha Siddiq, from Ejipura, said the power situation has not improved. “We don’t know when power goes off. At least we need to know the schedule. Otherwise, we cannot plan our day.”
State buys 1,000MW from IPPs
Bangalore: Under pressure from livid consumers reeling under frequent and long power outages, chief minister B S Yeddyurappa did his best on Monday to salvage the situation. The state entered into a pact with independent power producers to purchase 1,000MW to meet the shortfall.Yeddyurappa told reporters that 500MW had been available from Sunday night. “I’ll convene a meeting shortly to review the situation. Power-generating units in Raichur and Udupi will be repaired in a couple of days,’’ he said.
At a review meeting of the departments of finance and forest, Yeddyurappa issued strict instructions to the commercial taxes department to plug leaks in revenue collection.Yeddyurappa discussed the implications of the introduction of goods and services tax (GST) on the state and decided to take a call on the new indirect tax regime once it takes final shape. He said non-Congress state governments, including DMK-led Tamil Nadu, have rejected it, and a discussion on the proposal is still on.
When questioned about most ministers not following his diktat on their presence in Vidhana Soudha once in a week to clear files, Yeddyurappa said cryptically, “Wait for 15 days and see significant changes.”
Some relief from power paucity
With the state reeling under acute crisis, generation from Bellary Thermal Power Station (BTPS) has brought in some relief.
On Monday, Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPC) managing director SM Jaamdar said BTPS units started generating 200MW of power on Monday morning. “Besides, one unit of Raichur Thermal Power Station (RPTS) has started functioning. This should improve the situation in the coming days,” he said.
Shamim Banu, principal secretary, energy department, said the government will purchase 500MW of power as announced, to tide over the crisis. Asserting that power conservation is important in times of crisis, M R Sreenivasa Murthy, chairman, Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC), said people should start using energy-efficient electrical devices.

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