The proposal includes bifurcation of agriculture and non-agriculture loads from the existing 11kV feeder lines

With the Rural Load Management System (RLMS) developing problems in its objective of providing power to irrigation pump-sets, Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (Mescom) has proposed to implement a Rs. 745-crore Niranthara Jyothi scheme in rural areas under its jurisdiction.

M. Govindappa, Managing Director of Mescom, at a recent meeting with the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) said, “Though the project was proposed as early as 2010, and the government pushed for it in August 2013 to replace the defunct RLMS, Mescom is in the process of preparing detailed project reports for projects in Shimoga and Chikmagalur districts.”

Currently, the proposal includes bifurcation of agriculture and non-agriculture loads from the existing 11kV feeder lines. Around 180 lines will be newly drawn in the two districts, and through this continuous power supply can be arranged for the rural areas, Mescom officials said. “In-principle” approval has been granted by the Mescom Board, and funding from the government is the next major step expected “soon”.

The system builds on the RLMS feeder which was implemented in Mescom at a cost of Rs. 67.72 crore in 2010. The system was implemented in 6,700 rural distribution transformer centres to segregate the irrigation pump-set load from that of the domestic power load. This way, the system envisaged that agricultural load would not hinder with domestic load.

However, Mescom officials said that the system underestimated the unauthorized pump-sets on the line. The irrigation load was too much, and the line would trip numerous times, said an official.

Another long-pending proposal by Mescom to ensure better quality of power to rural areas was the High Voltage Distribution System (HVDS). Originally proposed in 2012, the system aims to draw high tension wire right up to the consumer. The then Managing Director Vijay Narasimhan had said this would stabilise voltage issues while also cut down on Mescom’s distribution losses.

However, though Kadur in Chikmagalur was chosen as sub-division for the pilot project, the proposal has been kept in abeyance after a meeting with the Energy Department in March, said Mescom officials.

“The HVDS project is also being carried out on pilot basis in Hescom (Hubli) and Bescom (Bangalore). The government has asked us to wait till the success of these projects if established,” said an official.

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