Thursday, August 12, 2010

Power cuts now 6 to 8 hrs daily

Power cuts now 6 to 8 hrs daily
It’s a vicious cycle for citizens as the current shortfall in power allocation is affecting water supply and industrial output
Deepthi.MR @timesgroup.com


Bangaloreans seem destined to live with power cuts, even as the monsoon has got under way. With a current shortage of 10 million units in BESCOM limits, everyone — industrialists, offices, residents — is affected across the board.
Take HBR Layout, which is seeing power cuts of six to eight hours a day. Raj Nawaz, a resident of III block HBR Layout, said, “BESCOM has been cutting power for more than eight hours a day in this area. When we asked the engineer, he resorted to technicalities. We can understand if there is a power cut for a few days, but this has been going on for more than two weeks.”
With no power, water supply is affected as BWSSB is unable to pump enough water for the city’s needs. From Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday evening, there has been no water in Rajajinagar, Basaweshwarnagar, Mahalakshmi Layout and Malleswaram 18th Cross. “We have had no water or power for more than 24 hours. When we asked the BWSSB engineer, he told us that there was no power to pump water. When we called BESCOM, they said there is no generation. What then are we paying taxes and bills for?” said Suresh Halmidi, a resident of Mahalakshmi Layout.
BESCOM’s quick-fix solution to the problem is, as usual, load-shedding. On Tuesday, there was a shortage of nearly 10 million units for the BESCOM limits. “We have resorted to load-shedding as there is a severe shortage of power in the state. Even though we have increased the allocation as compared to last year, it has not been enough as the demand has increased along with the allocation,” director (technical) H Nagesh said.
JULY SHOCKER
Power consumption in June last year was 50.65 million units, while it was 57.3 million units in June this year. “There was a shortage of eight million units last year, which has come down to five million units in June this year,” he said. Although the situation in June was manageable, July has been a huge let-down. “Consumption increased from 56 million units in July last year to 57.26 million units in July this year,” he said. On Aug 10, the energy allocation by Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited was 46.916 million units while consumption was 56.471 million units.
“When generation is lower, we cannot help load-shedding. This is the only way in which we can ensure that there is enough power in all areas equally,” Nagesh said.
Meanwhile, BWSSB PRO Prahlad Rao maintained that the water board has not received any complaints of water shortage from residents.
PLAN LOAD-SHEDDING, BESCOM TOLD
THERE ARE over 75,000 industrial units in Bangalore, and the owners feel the least BESCOM can do is to announce load-shedding schedules so that they can plan production accordingly. “BESCOM officials cut power according to their whims and fancies, and this is causing us a great deal of loss. If there is no power, manpower is idle. When manpower is idle, we suffer losses. We are paying them to sit idle,” said Srinivasa Murthy, president, FKCCI. Former FKCCI president J Crasta said, “The situation has become worse. We used to have power cuts in summer, but this year it is happening in the rainy season also. The quality of coal which the government of Karnataka is buying can be blamed for this as generation is affected. Our million requests have been rejected and our losses are only increasing. One hour of power cut during a peak production hour is around Rs 100 crore.” Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KASSIA) is in a militant mood. “We are going to the chief minister shortly. This is not the way a government should function. We incur a loss of Rs 2 lakh per industry if power is cut for one hour. We are small-scale industries and production is our bread-and-butter,” former KASSIA president Aravind N Burji said. Residents’ welfare associations are equally vehement about the current situation. HSR Layout RWA president Hiremath said, “Instead of asking when a power cut will happen, we ask our neighbours if they have power. No planning can happen if power cuts are so erratic. The entire day is messed up.” D S Rajshekhar, president of the Kalyana Nagar RWA, said, “Over three hours of precious work time is lost. We cannot even charge our inverters with this pathetic supply. A BWSSB engineer told me the other day that he cannot pump water to our area as there is no power.”

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