Dark days to continue in State

Only five generators working at Raichur Thermal Power Station

Dark days to continue in State

This has forced the government to resort to unscheduled load shedding for over five hours in Bangalore and nearly 10 hours in other parts of the State. Against the demand for 125 to 130 million units per day, the availability is between 90 to 100 mu.

Karnataka Power Corporation Limited Managing Director S M Jaamdar is not offering any hopes for the power-starved State. He said if scanty rains continue in the catchment areas of Linganamakki and other hydel power generating stations, it would be difficult to maintain even the present power supply.

According to official sources, the government is now planning to buy 1,000 mega watt of power from private generators to tide over the crisis. But even if the government manages to buy power, it will be too less to end power cuts. Only the duration of power cuts would come down if the government purchases 1,000 mega watt, sources pointed out.

The problem is mainly with the RTPS. Of the eight generating units, only five are working, that too partially. Three units are completely down for repairs. Against the total generation capacity of 1,720 mega watt, the RTPS is yielding only around 700 MW.
Besides, Bellary Thermal Power Station of 500 MW capacity too has stopped its generation due to technical snag, officials said.

However, Jaamdar said  only two units of the RTPS have been shut for annual maintenance and the rest are functioning. “One of the major problems being faced is wet coal being supplied to the RTPS. We are getting sufficient quantum of coal but wet coal is a problem”, he said.

Jaamdar said even though the government is ready to purchase power, the same is not available. Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharastra have been facing a smilar situation. No investment has been made for additional power generation over the years, he pointed out.

He also said that while Tamil Nadu would be adding additional power to the grid from next year onwards, the situation of Maharashtra would be worse than Karnataka.

The government, on the other end, cannot utilise the full capacity of all hydel power stations as the State is not receiving enough rainfall. The water level in Linganamakki reservoir is 1,792.85 ft against last year’s 1,809 ft and the inflow is just 11,500 cusecs which was almost double last year. The Supa and Mani reservoirs have also not been filled to capacity. Hence, hydel power generation has come down and is going to further reduce if sufficent rains are not received, he said.

“Though hydel reservoirs are more or less full, they cannot be fully utilised as there has been no rains of late. The State must manage with the available water for the whole year...If we go for full utilisation (to compensate for RTPS loss), the water available will get exhausated within two months,” officials explained.

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