'All sectors won't get 24-hour power'

Energy Minister D K Shivakumar on Friday ruled out 24-hour power supply to all sectors as the State was facing a shortfall of 1,000 MW.

Replying to a question by Basavaraj Rayareddy (Cong) in the Legislative Assembly, Shivakumar said while the demand for power was 8,500 MW, the supply even after the purchase of power from private sector stood at 7,500 MW.

In the present scenario, it was possible to supply 22 hours of power in urban areas and seven hours three phase / 10 hours single phase in rural areas. Several power projects were in the pipeline to increase the supply position. These include the 1,600 MW phase -3 of Bellary Thermal Power Station, 4000 MW power plant in Kudagi in Belgaum district in collaboration with National Thermal Power Corporation, 800 MW power plant at Yedlapura in Raichur district by Karnataka Power Corporation among others.

 Replying to another question by L A Ravisubramanya (BJP), Shivakumar said the State had purchased 6,449 million units of power from the private sector during 2013-14 at a cost of Rs 3,194 crore. This included medium-term power purchase of Rs 2,041 crore and short-term power purchase of Rs 1,150. Power had been purchased by paying Rs 3.72 per unit to Rs 5.5 per  unit, the minister said.

Shivakumar at one point informed the House that the State’s power production from thermal, hydel and renewable sources stood at 14,329 MW. Some members then sought to know why the supply was only 7,500 MW. “Where has the 6,829 MW gone?,” Rayareddy asked. The minister was at his wits end for some time. He later clarified that 14,329 MW was the installed capacity and not the actual production.

To another query, Shivakumar said Bescom vigilance cell had booked 741 cases between January 2013 and May 31, 2014 for using domestic purpose electricity connections for commercial purposes. A reward of Rs 2,000 will be given to persons who report power theft from Kuteera Jyothi feeder lines.

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