With the elections to the zilla and taluk panchayats coming to an end, the State government is now planning to impose load-shedding across the State, including in urban areas.
Energy Minister D K Shivakumar, sources said, had informed the State Cabinet, which held a meeting on Monday, that power utilities, including Bangalore Electricity Supply Company, may have to resort to load-shedding in the coming days.
The recent fire accident at Sharavathi hydropower station in Shivamogga has aggravated the situation. The State is currently facing a shortage of about 1,000 mega watts and the situation is likely to turn from bad to worse in the coming summer months, sources quoted the minister as saying.
But it was not clear whether the government would resort to unscheduled load-shedding and Bengaluru would also plunge into darkness. The government did not brief the media on the Cabinet meeting due to the model code of conduct for the panchayat elections. Though the State was facing a shortage of power, the government did not resort to load-shedding all these days in view of the elections. The second phase of the zilla and taluk panchayat elections concluded on February 20.
The minister said the energy department required a minimum of four to five months to restore the Sharavathi power station. The State’s demand for power is expected to be 10,026 MW in March, while the availability will be 9,218 MW. In April, the availability is expected to be 9,762 MW, while the demand will be 10,453. Moreover, the State is not in a position to purchase power from other states in the absence of adequate transmission corridors.Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who chaired the Cabinet meeting, directed Shivakumar and Chief Secretary Arvind Jadav to prepare an action plan to cope with the power crisis, the sources said.
This apart, the Cabinet gave its nod to a proposal to make it mandatory for ‘D’ group employees of the State government to declare their assets and liabilities every year. As many as 1.20 lakh ‘D’ group employees are working on a permanent basis in the State. However, the new rules do not apply to those working on a contract basis.
Ex gratia to soldiers
The Cabinet ratified the government’s decision to provide an ex gratia of Rs 25 lakh each to the family of three soldiers from Karnataka who lost their lives in the Siachen avalanche. Similar ex gratia will be given to the family of Sahadev Maruti More who lost his life fighting the militants in Kupwara in Jammu and Kashimir recently. Normally, the State government gives Rs 5 lakh as ex gratia. It increased the amount to Rs 25 lakh as special cases, sources in the government said.
Other Cabinet decisions...
To offer the post of sub-registrar to Ramya, wife of sub-inspector of Dobbaballapur police station, Jagadeesh, who was murdered by thieves near Nelamangala last year.
Dismiss commercial taxes officer H D Rajanna from service for taking Rs 1,000 bribe.
Increase capacity of tertiary treatment plant of BWSSB at Cubbon Park.
Instal CCTVs at prisons in 20 districts for Rs 17.44 cr.
Set up Bovi Development Board.