State govt offices fail to install power-saving equipment

Almost all departments ignore three-year-old GO
Last Updated : 15 August 2012, 19:36 IST
Last Updated : 15 August 2012, 19:36 IST

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Wondering why the State is facing a power crisis? Here’s another classic example of governmental sloth: The state’s public offices have failed to install power-saving equipment, despite it having been made mandatory, contributing to heavier power consumption in Karnataka.

A government circular issued three years ago made it compulsory for all government departments to install electrical ballasts in their offices. This has been ignored by almost all the departments barring two electricity supply companies which are also not up to speed on installing ballasts.

An electrical ballast is a device intended to limit the amount of current in an electric circuit.
On November 18, 2009 the Energy Department asked all government departments, institutions and organisations to use electronic ballasts in place of conventional copper chokes in the tube light fittings to save power.

According to the circular, the use of electronic ballasts (choke) in fluorescent tube lights saves about 40 per cent of power compared to conventional copper choke.

The circular says that to ensure adequate supply of power there is a need for efficient distribution and demand-side management. It also mentions that state-owned firm, Keonics, has entered into an agreement with some of firms which manufacture  and supply ballasts.

All government buildings and offices, including the power sector offices like KPTCL, Bescom, Hescom, Mescom, Gescom, Cesc, KREDL, Chief Engineer, Public Works Department, Commissioner and Director of Municipal Administration, All Deputy Commissioners, Commissioners, BBMP, Commissioners of City Corporations Hubli- Dharwad, Mysore, Mangalore, Belgaum, Gulbarga, Davangere, Bellary, all CEOs, ZP, City Municipal Corporations and other government offices across the state were issued the circular.

However nothing has changed even after the circular was issued.  Save and Safe promoters, a state-appointed Hubli-based firm which offers power saving consultancy and co-ordinates with the government authorities, and Keonics say that except the two power supply companies and Karnataka Milk Federation, Dharwad, none of the rest have cared for power conservation.

With the power crisis getting worse, and the State government itself advocating conservation in citizen’s homes by turning off the home appliances when in not use, the ignorance of the circular is a huge embarrassment for the government.

To make matters worse, the government is also spending huge amounts of money on advertisements to create awareness on power conservation amongst citizens.

Even Bescom which has decided to implement this order in July 2011 is yet to get to the half-way mark. “ We have implemented it fifty per cent. We will complete it by the end of this year,” said P Manivannan, managing director, Bescom.

However, Hescom which had taken up a pilot project way back in 2009, along with KMF Dharwad has found that they have been able to save about 35.39 percent of power and 48.40 percent of power respectively, by using electrical ballasts.

Published 15 August 2012, 19:36 IST

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