Tuesday May 22, 2018
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Karnataka gropes in the dark as power blinks

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Bengaluru; Karnataka is groping in the dark again as a deficit southwest monsoon has plunged the state into a major power crisis due to poor hydel generation and demand outstripping supply over the last few months.

With the state-run thermal plants at Raichur and Bellary in the northern districts and a private thermal plant at Udupi in the coastal district operating below capacity due to technical glitches, thousands of industries and small scale units across the state are reeling under prolonged power cuts.

“As the June-September monsoon rainfall was about 30 percent deficit in the state, water storage in all the 15 reservoirs is below 50 percent of their capacity this year. As we have to store enough water till next the rainfall (a year away), hydel power output has been reduced by 40 percent till (next) summer,” a senior official told IANS here.

Failure to add generation capacity over the last decade commensurate with the growing demand has also forced the state government to buy power from private producers at a high cost for ensuring minimum supply to users, including commercial, agriculture and domestic.

Absence of natural resources like coal and linkages to other sources have forced the state to rely heavily on monsoon-dependent hydel resources to generate about 60 percent of its energy requirements.

Shortage of transmission lines is also preventing the state from drawing more power from the national grid though the central government has offered to supply more that its quota of 2,400 MW from energy surplus states.

“The state failed to invest in generation capacity over the years and a few projects launched during the previous (BJP) government remained incomplete for technical and environmental reasons. As a result, power cuts are back with vengeance for four-to-six hours in cities and towns and eight hours in rural areas,” a representative of an apex industry body lamented.

According to the state-run Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL), though the state has a combined installed capacity of 6,625 MW, it is able to produce only about 70 percent of it due to less hydel sources and technical snags in thermal plants.

“In spite of additional supply from central grid, renewable energy sources like wind and solar and private producers to the state grid, the shortage is about 2,200mw, while the peak demand is about 9,500 MW,” a KPCL official told IANS.

A deficit monsoon after two-three consecutive years of above average season has also resulted in drought prevailing in 25 of the state’s 30 districts. The prolonged dry spell and hot climate has also sent energy consumption spiralling in urban and rural areas since September.

“To maintain minimum supply to commercial, agricultural and domestic users, we have asked industries in and around Bengaluru to opt for a staggered weekly holiday instead of all closing on Sunday so that we could reduce the load on the grid by 150 MW daily from November 2,” Bescom (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company) director H. Nagesh told IANS.

Sudden tripping, outages without prior intimation and wild voltage fluctuations have forced hundreds of IT and biotech firms in this tech hub to install diesel generators, invertors and high-powered solar batteries at their facilities to ensue quality power for their 24×7 operations.

“As the available power has to be distributed across the state and on priority to farmers, commercial and domestic users, industries have to bear with the shortage and have weekly off on any working day by turn so that they can get power for six days without load shedding,” Nagesh noted.

The state-run utility provider distributes power to eight southern and central districts of the state, including Bengaluru, which consumes one-third of the total power, as it has the largest number of industries and companies – and 10-million citizens.

“With winter sitting in from November, we hope to reduce power cuts gradually, as consumption by commercial and domestic users will be less till March. Industries can reverse to Sunday weekly off from January,” Nagesh added.

(Fakir Balaji IANS)

 

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  • keerthikumar

    In this situation The elected Govt. has no role to work it is better to remove the Govt. till the power position improves.

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Karnataka Polls: BJP On The Way to Win, Congress May Get Hard Defeat

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

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A state of 60 million people, Karnataka is home to the Information Technology hub of Benguluru and was ruled by the BJP once before.
Congress may have to taste defeat in Karnataka, VOA

The BJP was on Tuesday set to return to power in its southern bastion Karnataka as its candidates crossed the half-way mark in vote count, stunning and ousting the ruling Congress and leaving the JD-S at the third spot.

Noisy celebrations broke out in party offices in Bengaluru, New Delhi and across Karnataka as Bharatiya Janata Party nominees were on the victory lap in 118 of the 222 constituencies which voted on Saturday.

This was a dramatic jump from the 40 seats the BJP won five years ago.

The Congress, desperate to retain power in the state amid shrinking appeal nationally, suffered major blows and was ahead only in 62 seats, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah trailing in both the constituencies he contested: Badami and Chamundeshwari.

The Congress leader was way behind G.T Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular in Chamundeshwari, Election Commission officials said. And after leading initially, Siddaramaiah fell behind B.R. Sriramulu of the BJP in Badami.

In contrast, the BJP’s Chief Ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa was ahead of his Congress rival by more than 11,000 votes in Shikaripura.

Energy Minister and Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar said that the numbers indicated that his party was on the way out after five years in power.

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

The BJP was overjoyed. “We are in a jubilant mood because we have crossed the half-way mark. We are confident of winning,” spokesman S. Shantharam told IANS.

BJP activists and leaders celebrated noisily in both Bengaluru and New Delhi, waving party flags and shouting slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their main vote-getter, and party President Amit Shah.

There were also celebrations outside the residence of Yeddyurappa, who has been Chief Minister earlier too.

Of the 2,654 candidates in the fray for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections, at least 883 are crorepatis and 645 have criminal cases against them, said two watchdogs after analysing their affidavits filed with the Election Commission (EC).
Karnataka Polls counting suggests big win for BJP, wikimedia commons

The Janata Dal-Secular of former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 40 seats — the same number it won five years ago.

As the vote count progressed, BJP leaders became assertive, saying they were confident of taking power again in Karnataka while Congress leaders began to speak about the possibility of an alliance with the JD-S.

BJP leader and Union Minister Sadanand Gowda said that there was no question of any alliance.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of Karnataka, met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi.

Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga dominated areas.

Expectations of a BJP victory in Karnataka lifted the key Indian equity indices during the mid-morning trade session on Tuesday.

Modi’s Performance: Survey Reports That Significant Number of People Rate Performance of Modi Government as Below Expectations

According to market observers, broadly subdued Asian indices and disappointing macro-economic inflation data points released on Monday capped some gains.

Sector-wise, healthy buying was witnessed in banking, capital goods, metals, consumer durables and automobile stocks.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,993.53 points and a low of 35,498.83 points during the intra-day trade. (IANS)