BENGALURU: Energy utility Bengaluru Electricity Company (BESCOM), which has been resorting to four hours of load-shedding, will reduce it by an hour in a day or two, Energy Minister D K Shivakumar said here on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference, the minister said the decision to reduce power outage from four hours to three hours was taken following a slight improvement in the supply of power from the 1,200 MW coal-fired Udupi Thermal Power Corporation Ltd to the state grid.
A day after the minister had announced that the city had to endure power cuts of longer duration, BESCOM on Tuesday had confirmed four-hour power cuts for Bengaluru city. This was due to a steep fall in power generation in the state following poor storage in several hydel power-generating reservoirs and snags in thermal power plants. However, citizens across the city have been complaining that the daily power cuts lasted for more than four hours.
Shivakumar said the power situation is likely to improve further if the Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL) can procure power from outside agencies. “If that happens, the situation in other parts of the state will also get better,” he said.
The electricity supply companies (ESCOMS) will soon announce the power cut schedules in their respective areas, he said.
Outlining several measures taken to save power in the city, he said, “Steps will be taken to switch on streetlights in the city after 7 pm and switch them off by 6 am. Streetlights account for 2 per cent of the total power supplied to the city. There are also plans to supply power to streetlights alternately in a locality,” he added.
Issuing a stern warning against using power directly from lines during the Ganesha Chaturthi festival, Shivakumar said, “Anybody coming across such incidents in the city can alert the authorities on the toll-free number 1912.”
He said the state government had appealed to Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal to supply some power from its pool of unallocated share.
“We are also mulling invoking Section 11 of the Electricity Act, which mandates private power supply companies with units in the state to supply power only to state-owned electricity companies,” he said.
24/7 Power Supply to Hospitals: The minister said directions had been issued to ensure 24/7 power supply to all hospitals and drinking water installations through dedicated feeders.
Karnataka will request Tamil Nadu to supply power from its pool of “unused power”.
“I have sought an appointment with my counterpart in Tamil Nadu to make a personal plea,” he said. He expressed confidence that Tamil Nadu will respond to the state’s plea positively.