Move to prevent power cuts during exams

The Energy Department will not give line clearances to any development work across the state until examinations are over on April 6.

The decision, taken following directions from Energy Minister D K Shivakumar, comes after various wings of the Department were flooded with complaints about power cuts on a daily basis.

"The minister believes power cuts are as a result of indiscriminate line clearances to civic agencies and private companies for development work. He believes Karnataka has sufficient power reserve," a senior Energy Department official said on condition of anonymity.

Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (Bescom) Managing Director Rajendra Cholan confirmed line clearances have been cancelled. "We've also asked not to issue any fresh line clearances until the exams get over on April 6," he added.

Bescom will have troubles in handling the requirements of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited and Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, which have taken up developmental work leading to power cuts, Cholan said. "All works, in cluding Bescom's, have been put on hold," he revealed.

Bescom head office reportedly learnt that corporators are putting pressure on engineers and linemen to cut power more than the requested time to complete the civic works undertaken. This pressure is especially more since elections are fast approaching. In this wake, the Department said it has decided to take action against engineers and linemen even suspend them-for cutting power.

Cholan said widespread construction work has damaged over 37 cables and transformers in many places. He said night clearances have also been cancelled for private and government agencies.

On Tuesday, areas under the 66KV Hebbal feeder experienced power cut due to overloading that crashed the lines.

Cholan said Bescom is allocated 6000MW against the peak demand of 4600 MW. The peak demand has touched 5100 MW this year.

The Bescom MD asked people to direct their complaints to him regarding power cuts. He said a system has been created to alert him if an area experiences power cut for more than 60 minutes.

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