Power company says it is gearing up to convert the unit into a ‘gas-based plant’

Barely days after the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) declared that the diesel power generating plant at Yelahanka of the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) will be shut down, KPCL has clarified that there are no such plans. On the contrary, KPCL is gearing up to convert the unit into a ‘gas-based plant’.

Washing its hands off the Bescom press release that stated that the Yelahanka plant would be closed down, a KPCL official said a meeting to discuss the plant’s future did take place with Bescom officials, but no decision was taken to close it down.

Surprisingly, Bescom Managing Director Pankaj Kumar Pandey admitted that there was no proposal to close the plant down.

“The proposal was to covert the diesel power generating plant into a gas-based plant in a year or two,” he said.

Press statement

Last week, Bescom had issued a press statement claiming that areas in and around Yelahanka and Sahakarnagar would be affected by intermittent power supply due to the closure of the plant to adhere to the notice from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) accusing the 20-year-old plant of violating the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

Residents unhappy

The KPCL’s stand has left the residents in areas around the plant fuming. Those who had participated in a protest against the plant on Saturday said it was “unfair to smoke people’s lives out and make generations to come suffer.”

“We are not asking for the plant to shut down; we are only asking for it to be closed until green fuel is used for power generation. There is no annual maintenance and at least four out of the six generators have closed down. There is negligible amount of power produced here — not more than 6 MW,” a resident said.

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