Claiming that the power situation was comfortable, Energy Minister D K Shivakumar said there was no need for load shedding in the state.
Talking to reporters after holding a review meeting here on Tuesday, he said urban areas were getting power round-the-clock and rural areas for 18 hours (single phase for 11 hours and three-phase for seven hours) a day. All the major reservoirs have adequate storage to generate power for the next 70 days. “There is no load shedding. Disruption of power for one or two hours in some parts of the state is due to technical snags,” he said.
The minister said the demand for power was around 168 million units a day whereas availability was around 208 million units. Besides, the government was buying around 650 million units from other sources. Power consumption by the agriculture sector has reduced considerably, but demand has gone up in urban areas due to the hot weather.
On the demand by all the five electricity supply companies (Escoms) for a uniform tariff hike of 66 paise a unit for all consumer categories, Shivakumar said the government would not interfere in this matter as it was between Escoms and the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC). “We are not responsible if Escoms have sought a revision. It is left to the KERC to give permission or not.”
On the controversial Mekedatu project, he said the government was committed to protecting the interests of people and it would be implemented “at any cost”. The Centre has asked Karnataka to seek a no-objection from Tamil Nadu and Kerala before starting work. Leader of the Opposition in the Council D V Sadananda Gowda had made this a big issue.