'Measly staff, stations sapping energy dept'

States power needs have been growing

If you think coal is the only reason that’s coming in the way of new power generation units from seeing the light of the day in the state, it’s not just that.

Lack of adequate stations, insufficient manpower are the other reasons hampering the department from reaching out to the consumers.

This was how minister for energy and food and civil supplies Shobha Karandlaje lamented about a plethora of problems she was dealing with, in day-to-day affairs.

Participating in a programme organised to launch Chamundi 24x7 services at T Narsipur sub-division, at Bandantamma Kalamma Community Hall here, on Friday, the minister said steps have been taken to open 218 new stations under the jurisdiction of Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation (Cesc) Limited alone, besides recruiting 2,500 linemen to the department.

However, the process of recruitment has been stalled owing to a stay order from the High Court. Interestingly, a group of women have moved the court — seeking eligibility in the recruitment  process. Worse is, there is 50 per cent vacancy in Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company (Gescom). 

If any measures are initiated to fill the vacancies by transferring the staff from Mysore to Gulbarga, the officers are reluctant to move, said the minister. That apart, assistant engineers and junior engineers, who form a big chunk of entry-level staff and also entrusted with arduous tasks, also have to be recruited.

Moreover, the situation in production is such that the grid receives a highest of 400 mw to 500 mw of power through windmills from September to November. The generation of power through the same source hits a low of 25 to 30 mw when the demand hits peak between January and May.

A decrease in wind energy is attributed to less velocity during the given season. In addition to this, almost all hydel power generation units are near exhaust except for Shimsha.

The minister said that the second unit of Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS), waiting for coal power generation, is expected to make a start shortly. The proposed power generation unit at Chhatisgarh has taken wings with work on land acquisition for the purpose completed. The Government of Karnataka has already invested Rs 280 crore on the project.

The minister stressed on making plans on a war footing to meet the growing demand in future. The demand for power in the state has touched 17 per cent owing to increasing industries, pumpsets and also the number of domestic consumers. Earlier, the minister dedicated the zonal office of Cesc at Dattagalli.

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