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Industry in Karnataka slams power cuts by BESCOM

According to reports, Bangalore Electricity Supply Company’s decision for a scheduled six-hour power cut a day will cause severe hardship to businesses already struggling due to sluggish economy, industry chambers in Karnataka said today.

BESCOM has already issued notices to its industrial consumers in Bangalore city and all towns of the eight districts under its jurisdiction, detailing supply hours and scheduled cuts.

Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) President M Lakshminarayan said the move will cause severe hardship to the industries already struggling due to sluggish economy and other constraints.

“These power curtailments shall not only affect the output from process industries but also erode tight margins of the industry due to usage of captive power generation with diesel or heavy furnace oil, which is two to three times more expensive than grid power,” he said.

Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association said that at the time when the entire small industry sector is under pressure due to competitive factors and financial flow due to recession, the power cut to the small industries is “least expected and therefore severely shocking”.

KASSIA said it is of the strong opinion that the scheduled power cut between 6.00 and 9.00 am and 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm is both frustrating and unacceptable for the reason that it will severely impact the production and productivity of small industries, particularly those industries away from Bangalore urban area.

“KASSIA has also noted that BESCOM will be filing an application before the KERC under Section 23 and when this comes up for hearing, KASSIA on behalf of all its affiliated associations and general members would be filing their strong objections,” KASSIA Vice President B P Shashidhar said.

Given the power crisis that Karnataka has been facing for years now, BCIC urged the Government to take firm and time bound actions to improve power situation in the State by quickly implementing pending projects for generation of electricity which shall ease the woes immensely.

Anuj Sharma, chairman, Energy, Environment and Water Expert Committee, BCIC said authorities need to push for augmentation of transmission corridor for southern India to facilitate power purchases from rest of India and also through power exchanges.

“Authorities need to make policies which are conducive for private investments in power generation, including renewable energy projects to ease the power situation in Karnataka,” Sharma said.

BCIC earnestly urged the state government to ensure that good quality and uninterrupted power is provided during the power supply hours; immediately facilitate import of power from other states or purchase power from other generators to facilitate smooth running of the factories, which shall contribute to healthy economic activity in the State.

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