BENGALURU: It’s now official. There will be two to eight hours of power cuts in the state.
The state Cabinet, which met here on Monday, gave a green signal to all five electricity supply companies (ESCOMS) to effect power cuts in their respective operational areas owing to power shortage in the state.
The schedule of power cuts is likely to be announced in a day or two by ESCOMS. According to sources, there will be two-hour power cuts in Bengaluru, four hours in tier 2 cities and eight in rural areas.
There are already unofficial two-five hours of power cuts a day in tier 2 cities and 12-15 hours in rural areas.
Informing reporters about the Cabinet decisions, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra said ESCOMs would chalk out the load shedding schedule depending on the availability of power and use in their respective areas.
The state has been facing a shortage of over 3,000 MW of power a day as against its installed capacity of 10,179 MW a day. This is mainly because the power generation from the state’s hydel reservoirs has come down by half due to lack of water storage.
“The situation is very serious as the state has received the lowest rainfall in last 44 years. Barring one or two districts, there is a rainfall deficit across the state. Hence, there is no other option but to effect load shedding,’’ he added.
To a question, he said the state government has decided to purchase power from the open market till May 2016. “We will be spending `3,078 crore on power purchase till the next monsoon,’’ he added.
He said the number of drought-hit taluks has gone up to 135 and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will hold a review meeting with the administration of all districts soon. After that, relief measures would be announced.
“We have also sought `3,050 crore assistance from the Centre for relief works,’’ he said.