THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Former Electricity Minister AK Balan has demanded a comprehensive inquiry into what he called the poor planning which led to the crisis in the electricity sector. He told reporters here on Thursday that the KSEB had petitioned the State Electricity Regulatory Commission to permit half-an-hour load-shedding and power cut to high tension and extra high tension industries besides 10 per cent power restriction to LT consumers.
He said the state had received 1380 MW of power as additional Central allocation during this period and several places received summer rains resulting in a decline in demand for power. Still the KSEB is planning to implement power cut, he said.
Balan said that this year the state received enough water for generating 700 million units more compared to the previous year. But, by the first week of March, there was only enough water to generate 400 million unit lesser compared to the previous year.
He said that it was to cover up this lapse in planning that the government had increased the generation from Idukki dam in the name of Mullapperiyar issue. But water required for only 59 million units was utilised in this regard, he said.
Balan said that instead of storing water during monsoon season, the generation from Idukki had reached the optimum level during August and September months. The excess generation forced the KSEB to sell power at Rs 1.50 to neighbouring state. At the same time, we were buying power at Rs 3.5 from Karnataka, he said.
He criticised the KSEB for the "lack of planning’’ in view of the huge demand for power during the summer. While Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka had taken steps in advance to purchase power from the Eastern Grid, Kerala remained idle. The result was non-availability of the transmission corridor linking Eastern and Southern Grids and failure to bring more power from outside, the former Power Minister said.
He said during the LDF Government’s tenure the Central allocation was between 700-800 MW units while the Central allocation for this year was a record 1,380 MW unit.
Now the consumers are forced to pay the cost for the lapses on the part of the Board. The Regulatory Commission had the power to order a probe under Section 94 of the Electricity Act 2003 and initiate action against the guilty, Balan said.
He urged the government to protest against the Central Electricity Authority’s denial of CNG allocation to Kerala. He also urged the government to exert pressure on the Centre to establish a coal-based power plant in Kerala as envisaged during the tenure of the LDF Government.