Energised, govt talks power relief

Reduced electricity cuts come into effect before exams start

Energised, govt talks power relief

Buoyed by a back-up of 1,000 MW power it purchased recently to overcome the energy shortage, the State Government has reduced the duration of electricity cuts in urban areas outside Bangalore by two hours.

Consequently, these areas which, till last week experienced four-hour cuts, will have uninterrupted power supply for 22 hours.

Addressing the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said the government was in a better position to tackle the crisis since it purchased at a cost of Rs 323 crore 1,000 MW power which in energy terms translates to 21 million units daily to the state grid.

The power stimulus will extend beyond the state’s cities and towns to the rural areas where people will get assured 12-hour supply -- three-phase power for six hours and the same duration in single-phase supply.

To ensure that children in rural areas are able to prepare for their examinations, single phase power supply will be between 7 pm and 11 pm.

Within the Bangalore city limits, barring an hour, people will get uninterrupted power supply.

The government’s promise, however, will depend on how effectively it pursues the objective of reducing the hardship people have been facing for several months.

Selling power

Yeddyurappa said the State would be in a position to sell about 2,000 MW of power over the next four-and-a-half-years.

Besides, over the next four months the Udupi Power Corporation would generate 600 MW which by the end of the year would increase to 1,200 MW.

He promised that over the next few years, the Yeramaras thermal power project, the third unit of Bellary thermal plant, the Bidadi gas based project and the thermal plant in Chattisgarh would become operational.

These projects would add 125 MU (5,900 MW) to the grid. Convinced that the Chief Minister’s promises sounded hollow, the Congress staged a walk-out.

Additional purchase

Disclosing that the new rota of power cuts was put into effect from Monday, Yeddyurappa said his government planned purchasing an additional 750 MW for the period between April and August this year.

Arguing that his government had shown alacrity in tackling the power crisis than previous governments, the Chief Minister claimed that that successive dispensations earlier signed memoranda of agreement between 1990 and 2006 to procure 34 lakh million units of power, but only a few could materialise.

‘Govt not responsible’

Denying that his government was responsible for the power mess, Yeddyurappa blamed the previous governments for failing to foresee there would be increased demand.

He maintained that during 2008-09 his government added 1252. 95 MW to the grid and that it had surpassed all previous attempts to generate more power. In 2009-10, the government aimed to add 1,300 MW.

The demand-availability differential in power since 2004-05 has been growing at a rate of 35 per cent every year. In 2004-05, the total demand was 37,625 MU against 33,110 MU of supply.

On other hand, in 2009-10 the demand was 51,019 MU against 44,541 MU of supply, he said.

Holding the Centre responsible for contributing little to Karnataka’s power situation, Yeddyurappa said in 2007-08 the State received 8,645 MU from the Central government.
In 2008-09 it cut supply to 7,981 MU, while in 2009-10 the Centre’s contribution was only 8,631 MU.

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