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Power crisis looms large in Karnataka

According to reports, the people who are reeling under drought for the second consecutive year in Karnataka have to brace up for dark days. The state government on Monday cautioned about the imminent power crisis in the coming days due to the depleting reservoir levels.

We are facing a worst drought. The water storage at our reservoirs is very poor. If it does not rain in a month’s time, the situation will go from bad to worse,” energy minister Shobha Karandlaje told the legislative council in response to a question by D S Veeraiah (BJP).

The water level has receded in the Lingamakki, Mani and Supa reservoirs. The Linganamakki reservoir has just 30 tmc ft of water, while it had 80 tmc ft the corresponding time last year.

Compounding the problem is the increase in the consumption by 24% compared to the last year and difficulties in getting power from outside. The drastic increase in bore wells due to drought is one of the main reasons for the increased consumption. We do not get free power corridor to import power from other grids,” the minister said.

As per the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission order, the state requires 60,638 million units (MU) of power during 2012-13. The Karnataka Power Corporation Limited produces about 25,000 MU of power annually from all sources — hydel, thermal, diesel, solar and wind. This year, up to June end, KERC has produced 6,505 MU. To tide over the shortage, the state is purchasing 1,280 MW of power from outside the state and private producers.

However, the minister said the 500-MW BTPS II Unit would be operational in August. She said the government was planning for the renovation of Raichur Thermal Power Station and a team had gone to Gujarat for a study.

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