SERC’s approval sought

The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) on Thursday sought the permission of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission to continue the present 30-minute cyclical load shedding both during the morning hours and evening hours till the end of May next.

The load-shedding at present is between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 6.30 a.m. and 10.30 a.m.

The KSEB, in a petition before the commission, suggested that the evening load shedding could be enforced between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., to manage the overall power consumption more efficiently than at present.

Liquidity crisis

The KSEB said it was up against serious liquidity crisis since almost the entire revenue it received from the sale of power was being spent on purchasing power from outside.

To bring in an element of caution in the consumption habits, the KSEB said high-end domestic power consumers could be charged at a rate of Rs.11 a unit for the energy they consumed above a ceiling of 200 units a month.

This high rate represented the average cost involved in purchasing a unit of power from stations running on liquid fuel.

The KSEB also proposed to impose a cut of 25 per cent in the supply of power at normal tariffs to the industries.

Up to 75 per cent of the present monthly consumption could be supplied at the normal tariffs and for any unit consumed above this level, the industries could be asked to pay at the rate of Rs.11 a unit.

The KSEB informed the commission that the steps taken after the commission’s previous order relating to power supply restrictions had not brought the desired results.

Power consumption continued to remain high. One reason could be that the neighbouring State of Tamil Nadu was experiencing yet more serious power crisis and therefore, some of the industrial houses that had units in both States had increased their production in Kerala to compensate for the reduction in production in the other State.

The commission is likely to issue on Friday its order on the KSEB’s request for continuing load shedding.

Regarding the request for adopting a split tariff system for high end domestic consumers and industries, the commission is likely to reserve its order till all aspects of the proposal are closely examined.

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