As power crisis looms, Bescom scrambles to save electricity

As power crisis looms, Bescom scrambles to save electricity

As power crisis looms, Bescom scrambles to save electricity


The sight of decorative outdoor lighting and construction sites using heavy electrical equipment may be common in the City, but they send shivers of apprehension through Bescom which is struggling to keep Bangalore supplied with adequate power in this difficult summer.

Already, Bescom (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company) officials estimate a shortage of 300 MW in the power grid — brought on by low water-levels at many hydro-electric reservoirs in the State. To help conserve power, the Company plans to act against illegal power lines and theft of power, which officials estimate could save as much as 60 MW.

As part of its drive, Bescom vigilance teams will conduct some 1,500 inspections across their respective jurisdictions, each day. “The teams, comprising policemen, will inspect installations even at night, from 6 pm to 9 pm, to prevent the ‘misuse of power’ through welding, decorative lighting, power theft, etc,” explained Ananda Naik, Chief General Manager, Corporate Affairs. Such inspections, in the past, have paid off handsomely for Bescom. March was witness to the highest amount of fines levied on persons/establishments at any time during the department’s 12-year operational history.

“A total of 3,033 installations were inspected in March, which resulted in 294 cognisable (theft) and 233 non-cognisable cases being booked,” said K Ravindra Prasad, Superintendent, Vigilance, Bescom. “We have levied fines amounting to Rs 4,05,54,955, which is the highest in 12 years. In February, 1,829 installations were inspected and Rs 3,73,98,627 was levied in fines. The number of cognisable and non-cognisable cases booked then stood at 305 and 154, respectively.”

Public appeal

Bescom also plans to create awareness using its brand ambassador, and requests the public to use heavy power only at night, when the demand is less.

“Heavy power-consuming appliances and equipment like water pumps and geysers etc can be used after 10 pm, instead of early in the morning. We expect to save around 30 MW from this,” Naik said.

The Company has also directed its operations and management employees at various levels to go on inspections, to make the process more efficient. A senior official revealed that Bescom is also committed to preventing the overdraw/excess consumption of electricity by agricultural pumpsets, by illegally converting power supplied for lighting.

“They do this by using small capacitors at the pumpsets. Now that we have made certain technical cha­nges, such illegal conversions are impossible,” an official said. Citing a presentation made by Mahadev, Chief General Manager of operations, he added that the new system may save around 210 MW.

The vigilance teams gained a much-needed boost by the addition of 30 vehicles, with accompanying staff. “Extra vigilance against illegal power use is planned during peak hours and at night,” an official explained.

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