Bescom announces four-hour load-shedding for city

It will continuetill the situation improves

October 17, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:32 am IST - Bengaluru:

The spate of power cuts has led to several complaints from consumers and the industry. —File Photo

The spate of power cuts has led to several complaints from consumers and the industry. —File Photo

If you thought the worst was over and that power cuts would only reduce in the coming days, think again. Forced by a drastic shortfall in power supply, the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) on Friday announced a four-hour shutdown for the city with greater cuts for rural areas.

A detailed schedule of the power cuts was put up online atwww.bescom.orgon Friday. The schedule classified according to sub-divisions, contains feeder-wise details and the timings of load-shedding for both domestic and commercial consumers.

Even though the power situation was mitigated with the generation of power by both units of the Bellary Thermal Power Station, the condition on Friday was bad with a massive shortage, officials said. The total power generated was around half the total capacity of the station. Power was generated at one unit of the Udupi Power Corporation Limited.

The load-shedding might stop in the near future if all non-functioning thermal power units begin generation.

If this does not happen, officials said, the situation could well continue till December when power purchased from outside the State will reach Karnataka through the transmission corridor.

The return of four-hour power cuts to the city comes at a time when the State is reeling under a major power crisis, officials say. The decision to impose load-shedding will be reviewed once the thermal power stations start generation. Timings have been distributed over the day with power cuts during evening peak hours as well.

Privatisation of power

The spate of power cuts has led to several complaints from consumers and the industry. While industry members on Thursday grudgingly agreed to staggered holidays, the view on Friday was that the State must do more in terms of long-term policy to ensure that such a situation does not recur. “We have decided to implement power cuts for four hours again as there has been a drastic fall in supply. If the situation improves, we will review the decision in a few days,” Bescom managing director Pankaj Kumar Pandey said. One of the suggestions was that the government opt for privatisation of power distribution.

“The State government should expedite privatisation of distribution which will unbundle the power sector, enhance competition and provide opportunities to the industry to choose from the options available,” Anuj Sharma, president of the Bangalore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said. Consumers are also unhappy.

“The power cuts are not according to a schedule. Today the supply was switched off at 11 a.m. and then returned at noon only to be cut again at 12.30 p.m. It is very tough to work without knowing when we will have power cuts,” Yusuf R., a resident of Old Airport Road, said.

However, senior officials say engineers had been instructed to stick to a schedule. “We have told them that power cuts would have to be according to a time-table. It has been made taking all factors, like demand, into account. Customers can complain to the helpline if unscheduled power cuts occur,” a senior official said.

Consumers can note their sub-divisions from their RR numbers which is printed on the bill or can call the helpline at 1912 for more details.

The imposition of section 11 in neighbouring Tamil Nadu may deprive the State of as much as 200 MW to 300 MW of power as the rule stops power generators in Tamil Nadu from selling power out of the State.

According to officials, there was a chance of sourcing power from Tamil Nadu as a few generators in that State were willing to sell power.

This is expected to only worsen the power shortage in the State. Tamil Nadu is reeling in a power crisis of its own.


Andhra Pradesh and Kerala are two States which are considered to be self-sufficient in power supply. However, generators in Kerala are demanding extremely high rates which deter Karnataka from purchasing power from there, officials said.

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