Electricity plays hide-and-seek as Bescom and KPTCL pass the buck, and industries are badly hit

It’s been power on and power off on a regular basis in homes and offices in and around Vidyaranyapura for the past couple of months. Electricity supply has become a casualty to changes and glitches in transmission and maintenance in localities such as Yelahanka, M.S. Palya, Abbigere and Sahakarnagar.

While residents such as S. Suresh are at a loss to understand why they have to put up with two-hour power cuts every morning and evening, industries are the worst hit. Jayaramu, honorary secretary of Peenya Industries’ Association, said they were ‘disturbed’ by the erratic supply, with the heating and machine tools industries being the most affected.

“The utilities are cutting off power supply as and when they like it. For the last four to five months, there has been no planning on maintenance. On Thursday, we met some officials and told them we will plan our production according to the supply. But the results are not encouraging,” he said, adding that they have been told that the problem is due to lack of some equipment used for transmission, which will take another six months to fix.

“We are arranging a meeting with Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) and Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. (KPCL) officials shortly to arrive at a solution,” he added.

Reasons

Bescom officials admitted that there have been unscheduled power cuts in the area due to a number of reasons. To begin with, there are far fewer power transmission stations in Vidyaranyapura, though new stations were established at Abbigere and Sahakarnagar.

“This September, we shifted the load from Attur MUSS to Abbigere station in a project that cost nearly Rs. 1 crore. Due to this, load from M.S. Palya, Sabhram Engineering College and Vinayakapalya have been shifted to Abbigere. So, interruptions have reduced,” the official explained.

About the diesel power generating unit at Yelahanka, the official, while conceding that the contribution to the power shortage due to its closure is minimal, said the surrounding areas had been impacted slightly.

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) had issued a show-cause notice to the 20-year-old plant, and had accused it of violating the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

According to the website of the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL), no power is being generated in any of the six units at the plant. The plant had a generating capacity of 108 MW.

Solutions soon?

However, Bescom is promising relief at least by January next year. “A new transmission station is being set up on Doddaballapura Road – the Ananthapura 220 kV MUSS. Intermediate towers will be raised along the distance between the S.R.S. Peenya 220 kV Receiving Station and the Welcast 66 kV Station,” an official said. This is expected to help in transmitting 20 MW power to the Atturu, Sahakarnagar and KHB stations.

The power utility is also planning to replace the conductors used for transmission in these stations with High Temperature Low Sag (HTLS) conductors within the next 10 to 12 months to increase the transmitting capacity from the existing 40 MW.

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