The shutdown at the Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS) continued on Wednesday with units 3 and 8, which produce a total of around 400 MW, not generating any power. However, officials at RTPS said they expect unit 8 to be back online by Thursday morning.
As the state battles a harsh summer, officials have been micromanaging the entire effort to supply power in order to ensure that there are no interruptions during examinations. However, outages like this are resulting in sudden drops in supply. Power cuts, while few and short in duration, are still being reported from various areas of the city.
Units at RTPS have been suffering from snags for many years now. Unit 1 and 2 are more than 30 years old and usually shut down several times a year. This time, unit 3 has a vibration problem in its turbine bearings and unit 8 has a technical snag, said officials. Unit 3 will take longer to come back online since the process of repairing it will involve calling the company technicians who installed the unit.
Just a few weeks ago, Energy Minister D K Shivakumar had said the state has sufficient power supply for the summer. However, due to faults and a stay granted by the Kerala High Court on the implementation of Section 11 of the Electricity Act, the Minister on Wednesday admitted that there was power disruption in the state.
Section 11, which prohibits the sale of power generated within the state to outside buyers, is netting Karnataka around 380 MW of power per day, Shivakumar told reporters. He said the increase in demand from the farming sector and frequent snags were the causes for disruptions.
He also said industries were being asked to stagger their load in order to divert peak hour load to residential consumers. Industries have been asked to work at off-peak hours to avoid power cuts.
Commenting on the Kerala High Court order, Shivakumar said the government would study it before taking a stand. City energy supply utility BESCOM on Wednesday received 1,818 complaints till 7 pm, the maximum of which were from Jayanagar, Koramangala, Indiranagar and Shivajinagar. Almost 300 of these complaints remained unsolved at the time. Managing director Pankaj Kumar Pandey, however, reiterated his stand that there would be no power cuts in the city despite the RTPS shutdown.
BESCOM has also decided to refuse permission for power cuts for maintenance reasons till the examinations are over, unless there is an emergency.