Power crisis looms over State

Power crisis looms over State

Karnataka faces 15 per cent deficit in power production

With the Assembly elections on the horizon, Karnataka seems to be headed for a power struggle of another kind, what with a huge deficit in the electricity generation in the State.

According to Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL), the State faces a 14.89 per cent deficit in power production from its hydel plants due to poor rainfall.

At its board meeting held on March 8, KPCL stated that the shortfall was likely to be in the range of 10 million units. The total power-generating capacity of the corporation from all its plants, including thermal and hydel, is 35 million units.

KPCL managing director M R Kamble told Deccan Herald that the prime reason for the deficit was scanty rains and the consequent shortage of water in the catchment areas.

“We have recorded a 20 per cent decrease in the water levels in the Sharavathi catchment area. We are trying to preserve the water levels till June-end, before the beginning of the monsoon season,” he said.

Judicious utilisation

Kamble said the KPCL had been utilising its power-generation capacity from the hydel projects “judiciously.”

“With both avenues of power generation — hydel and thermal — available with us, we have decided to increase the thermal power generation to maintain the water capacity,” he explained.

The decision to keep the water levels high till the onset of the monsoon season has been taken jointly by the KPCL and the KPTCL to ensure there is no power shortage.
“In case there is an increase in rainfall by June, then the power-generation capacity will be increased by running all the power plants at full speed,” he said.

Admitting that there has been power shortage over the past year, KPTCL managing director Selvakumar said the situation, however, had not worsened. “As of now, we are not facing any crisis on account of the reduced power generation by the KPCL. Over the past one- and-a-half months, the KPCL has provided us the required amount of power,” he said.

However, even in its thermal power plants, KPCL has been facing a crisis with the shutdown of one of the Raichur units on account of a technical snag.

For the past one year, a boiler at the Raichur plant has been under repair, resulting in the shortage of close to 250MW.