BANGALORE: With monsoon playing truant and water storage in hydel power reservoirs running low, the government is desperately hoping for divine intervention to avert an impending power crisis.
“Only God can save the State from the power crisis which is looming large,” Energy Minister D K Shivakumar told Veeranna Mattikatti of Congress in the Council on Tuesday. The minister said the water storage in hydel power reservoirs like Linganamakki and Mani is just 40 per cent of full capacity, and if there is no rain in the next few days, the drought could spread to 150 taluks this year, he added.
It would not be possible to meet the huge demand-supply gap through purchase of power from private producers by paying a huge rate, which could touch even `18 per unit, the minister added.
Though the government
is committed to provide 24X7 power for farmers’ pump sets and households, the cost would be huge, he said.
Already, about 40 per cent of the power is being consumed by IP sets, which get it free of cost.
The government has been paying `7,900 crore for providing free power to irrigation pump sets.
There are also about 50,000 illegal pump sets draining away power, Shivakumar said.
Jain Opposes DKS
Shivakumar’s plans to improve power supply through a string of thermal plants, including the one at Niddodi in Dakshina Kannada district, drew opposition from Sports Minister Abhayachandra Jain.
“The proposed project at Niddodi comes under my constituency of Moodbidri. We do not want the project. People in my constituency are opposing it,” Abhayachandra Jain further added.
The constituency is already suffering from the impact of mega projects, like the Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited, on the environment, he said and told the minister: “Look out for some other location for the project.”
He was supported by other members from the coastal region.