Special Correspondent

Unscheduled load shedding enforced

BANGALORE: Unscheduled load shedding has been enforced throughout the State during the morning and evening peak hours as the power shortage assumed crisis proportions due to multiple reasons such as absence of rain and fall in the availability of the State’s share of power from the Central generating stations.

Bangalore city is reeling under load shedding, which varies from one hour to four hours, while the load shedding in other cities and towns was more than this. The load shedding is expected to continue for some more days till things stabilise. The situation can improve fast only if there are good spells of rain in the next couple of days.

According to sources in the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited, the State is facing a shortage of about 800 MW. Bangalore itself is facing a shortage of 300 MW to 500 MW, accounting for about 10 million units (mu) a day.

One of the reasons for the shortage is that two generating units with a capacity of 210 MW each have stopped generation at the Raichur Thermal Power Station. While one of these units has been taken up for annual maintenance and is likely to resume generation only after a week, the other one, which faced a technical snag, is expected to resume generation by Thursday night or Friday morning.

What came as a shock for the State was the stop in generation by some of the generating units in Central generating stations in Ramagundam (Andhra Pradesh) and Talcher (Orissa). This has resulted in Karnataka’s share getting reduced by about 250 MW. Karnataka is also not getting its Central share of about 50 MW due to the stopping of generation by a unit at the Kaiga nuclear generating station on account of shortage of nuclear fuel.

Normally, the State makes up for a part of such shortage by increasing the generation from hydel resources. But at present the State is in a precarious position as its hydel sources are getting fast depleted.

The inflow into the three major hydel reservoirs of Linganamakki, Supa and Mani are negligible as the catchment areas of these reservoirs have not received any rain.

At present, the State is left with a hydel storage which is enough to generate only 893 mu as against the last year’s position of 1,290 mu.

The hydel storage will suffice only for about a month even if the State draws 27 to 28 mu a day from hydel reservoirs. According to sources in the KPCL, the hydel generation is expected to be slightly reduced from Friday after a unit in RTPS resumes generation.

A senior Bescom official said the improvement in the power position would now depend on whether the State would get good spells of rain immediately. “The situation will become even more serious if there is no rainfall in the next few days,” he noted.

The fact that the State is yet to get any good inflow into its hydel reservoirs even in June-end has caused serious concern in the power sector as normally this is the time when the inflow gain momentum.