Power crisis exposes poor upkeep

Three thermal units under maintenance; generation drops by 900 MW



The monsoon, which shattered lives in the State, has calmed down now, much to the relief of farmers. The power pundits were glowing with happiness with all the hydel reserves almost overflowing. But the joy was shortlived as the State ran into unexpected problems. The officials have been blaming technical problems for the current power shortage. This clearly exposes poor management of the power plants.

The three units-- two at  Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS) and one at Bellary Thermal Power Station (BTPS)-- have been shutdown leading to a shortage of over 900 MW. Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) officials confirmed that three units of RTPS were shut down recently. “Of the seven units one has been taken up for annual maintenance, while second unit has been shutdown following a leakage in boiler tube, while the fifth unit has tripped and will be operational today,” said a source from KPCL.

The two units which are shutdown will leave the state poorer by 420 MW, while the BTPS, according to the sources, is also sailing in the same boat costing 500 MW of power.
Technical snag in transmission line connecting Gerusoppa and Talguppa too has made power evacuation impossible from Gerusoppa hydel power plant forcing a scarcity of another 240 MW of power upon the state. In addition to this a transformer failure at the 220 kva Hoodi power station near Bangalore has hampered the transmission forcing a load-shedding upon the consumers thus exposing poor management of the sector.

The power experts are pointing out at the poor management of Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL). “With the available resources, it was estimated that the state can generate sufficient power at an average 118 million units until June 2010, but if we can witness a crisis during non-demand days, it is nothing but a poor management of the system,” says a power expert.

B G Rudrappa, former Chairman, Karnataka Electricity Board (KEB) too said that the power transmission company should treat the state equally during such crisis. “ There should be equality in distribution during crisis. Even the power cuts too should be distributed equally instead of prioritising as per the distribution companies,” he said.

He said that the Power companies should announce about the power cuts well in advance. However he said that several suggestions which can bail out the sector from difficulties, made during the steering committee meeting are yet to be implemented.


Load-shedding to continue

Load-shedding will continue as the State is in power deficit. It has been decided to provide single-phase and three-phase power for six hours each in rural areas while 20-23 hours power will be provided in urban areas, Minister for Power K S Eshwarappa said in Shimoga on Saturday, reports DHNS.

Speaking to reporters, he said, there will be minor changes in the existing schedule based on the fluctuation in demand and supply. Minister said that there are no plans to procure power at present from outside sources.

Power supply stands at 118 million unit in the State at present including the contribution from centre. Of the centre’s allotment of 1,543 mw, 900-1,000 mw is supplied at present and the unallotted 150 mw is also not regularly supplied.

Bellary thermal power station, which was commissioned recently, is yet to attain optimum productivity. Raichur thermal power station, which has the capacity to generate 1,470 mw, is developing frequent technical snags. Hydel power stations which caters to 40 percent of the power requirements of the State continue to be the chief and reliable source, he stated.

Power supply has been restored in the flood-ravaged areas of North Karnataka. Power generation and transmission installations, which were damaged due to flood, are repaired, Eshwarappa said.

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