Power consumption soars across Karnataka, Bengaluru faces outages

Govt insists there is no shortage of power, agitated customers say that power cuts have increased in frequency over the past few weeks

Published: 12th March 2018 06:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th March 2018 06:41 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Summer is here, and so has the demand for electricity that is putting a burden on the already outdated distribution network in the city, resulting in power cuts in several areas, according to consumers. While the government is firm on the stance that there is no shortage of power, agitated customers say that the scheduled or unscheduled power cuts have increased in frequency in the past few weeks.

On Saturday, the total consumption of electricity in the state was 237 million units (MU), up by 24 million units from last year’s consumption on the same date that had 213 MU. As the temperature rises, the usage of fans and air-conditioners is bound to push the demand even further north.

Last year, in the first week of March, the states consumption had reached 221 MU which was a record breaker. This year, it has already surpassed that figure. BESCOM, which supplies electricity to Bengaluru, is responsible for at least half of these consumption figures on an average.
Since mid-February, factors like maintenance work, faults in the network, etc. have resulted in scheduled power cuts across the city.

According to officials, the problem is acute in eastern parts of the city like HSR layout, Koramangala and others. Several areas have seen power cuts for reasons like emergency repair works at the Hoodi sub station, for line laying, for Namma Metro-related work and other issues.

“We have been facing power cuts in the morning for around 30 minutes between 8 am and 10 am for the past two weeks. The helpline officials tell us that this is because of faults or due to maintenance work. It is affecting our morning schedule at home as this is the time everyone usually leaves for office,” said Kaushik Banerjee, a resident of Indiranagar. For others, power cuts occur at random times during the day, for which people are now thinking of purchasing power backup appliances like generators or inverters.

“This is the time of the year when enquiries increase for us. Many people want to at least operate fans during the daytime as it gets very hot when there is a power cut. Sales will increase in the next few days for sure,” said Salim Mahmood, an inverter supplier in Domlur.

However, officials said that the situation did not warrant a panic as the state had enough power supply to last it through summer. “We are taking steps to notify customers about scheduled power cuts through social media and on the website. The BESCOM Mithra app also shows the affected areas and the time for resolution. Faults are being repaired at a fast pace to ensure power supply is not disrupted,” a BESCOM official said. 

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