Taking a serious view of the growing criticism of continued load-shedding, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Sunday said the State government would purchase 500 MW of power immediately.

Mr. Yeddyurappa told journalists at the At Tea hosted by Governor H.R. Bhardwaj on the occasion of Independence day that purchase of power would help in easing the power situation in the State.

In the meanwhile, he expressed confidence that power generation from one unit of the Raichur Thermal Power Station (210 MW) and synchronisation of one unit of the new Udupi Power Company would be done soon. This would help improve power supply situation in a few days.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said that he had reviewed the power situation with senior officials of the power sector on Sunday. The decision to go for immediate procurement of 500 MW of power had been taken at the review meeting.

As a long-time measure, the government was making arrangements to procure 1,000 MW from the next month and that it was ready to spend any amount to provide relief to the consumers.

He said the State was facing long hours of load-shedding owing to severe power shortage. While the storage level in the three major hydel reservoirs of the State is lesser by about 30 per cent when compared with the storage during the corresponding period in the previous year, the thermal units too were facing trouble.

Though load-shedding was not new to the State, what is of concern is that it is being enforced during the monsoon period — the season when normally there is no cut in power supply.

Asked to comment on the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president R.V. Deshpande remarks that the Government had messed up with the power production, he said that the Opposition is free to comment.