Staff Reporter

Officials attribute acute shortage to recent shutdown of RTPS

Bangalore: Power supply, over the past few days, has been irregular. Several areas in the city have been without power for over four hours a day. Though sources in Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) claim that power cuts are as per schedule and for only one hour, residents contend otherwise.

Residents of Sarvagna Nagara, Lingarajapuram, Jayamahal, Banashankari, N.R. Colony, Jayanagar, Hebbal and other parts said that power supply was irregular in the morning with power cuts varying from one to two hours. Power cuts were a regular phenomenon even during evening hours, they added.

Bescom officials said that power generation dropped drastically in the wake of the recent shutdown of all units of the Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS) owing to a technical snag. “Power generation dropped by around 1,000 MW. RTPS meets around 35 per cent of the State’s demand for power. Already, the State is reeling under power shortage. With the shutdown of all units of RTPS, power shortage became acute. We were forced to manage with the available power by enforcing power cuts,” an official told The Hindu.

A press release from Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. (KPTCL) said that the peak load demand had crossed 5,500 million units. While the Linganmakki, Supa and Mani reservoirs had around 65 per cent storage, the total availability of power (as on December 24) was around 5,935 million units, compared to last year’s 4,812 million units. With the shutdown of all units of RTPS, thermal power generation, which is usually around 35 million units, dropped to 18.9 million units on December 22 and 28.1 million units on December 23. On December 24, thermal power generation was 26.56 million units.

Muralidhar Rao, Technical Director of Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd., said that the authorities were forced to shutdown all units of RTPS after insulators were damaged owing to the blast of a breaker recently. Two units had been taken up for annual maintenance. The station was shutdown for a day. Four units were restored within eight hours, while the fifth unit was restored after 12 hours. The sixth unit started generating power from Thursday.

On Wednesday, the State Cabinet approved the Karnataka Renewable Energy Policy 2009. The policy provides for increasing power generation through renewable energy sources by 6,000 MW over the next five years. Importance will be given to wind, biomass and solar power projects. The State Government will offer subsidies and concessions for renewable energy projects.