BANGALORE: Even as cyclone Hudhud made landfall in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday leaving behind a trail of destruction, its effect could be felt in Karnataka. A shortage of power supply from that state, combined with factors like coal shortage, has led to power utilities resorting to load-shedding across Karnataka.
At a press conference on Sunday, Energy Minister D K Shivakumar announced that due to outages in central as well as state generating stations, the state is facing a shortage of 25 per cent of the overall demand. This works out to around 2,500 MW. The situation, which had been so for the past week, has worsened with the shutting down of generating stations in Andhra Pradesh because of the cyclone.
On Sunday, three units of Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS) of 220 MW each, one 500 MW unit of Bellary Thermal Power Station (BTPS) and one unit of private company Udupi Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) remained shut down. The shortfall in generation from the state is estimated to be 23 per cent while those from central generating stations is around 20 per cent.
This shortage is leading to load-shedding in the state with rural areas bearing the brunt of the power cuts. Some areas are getting only 14 hours of power a day against the mandatory 17 hours. Rural areas are being supplied six hours of three-phase power supply and eight hours of single-phase supply. Urban areas have been spared so far with only about an hour of power cut every day.
Shivakumar said the department will try to mitigate the situation by making short-term power purchases. On Saturday, 14.04 million units were purchased from external suppliers.
Bangalore Largely Unaffected
According to BESCOM MD Pankaj Kumar Pandey, there were no plans to introduce staggered schedules for Bangalore at the moment. “There is staggering in the rural areas already, but as of today, the forced power cuts in Bangalore are ranging between 45 minutes to an hour. We will consider staggering if the situation worsens,” he said.
Hydel power generation has also been ramped up in order to meet the demand as much as possible. The hydel power situation in the state is good with the three major dams -- Linganmakki, Supa and Mani -- having more than 75 per cent of storage. The situation is expected to improve in a week’s time as the effects of the cyclone subside.
HESCOM Areas Worst Affected
According to an official, several single-phase power consumers in Hubli-Dharwad area had converted to three-phase connections and were using them to operate pumpsets. “These areas will be the worst affected since, as soon as single-phase supply starts, pumpsets are operated, putting too much load on lines,” he said.