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Karnataka to do a Pune

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The Karnataka government appears to be looking seriously at the DG set plan, experimented by Pune two years ago, involves getting companies with large captive generation sets to utilise those sets during peak hours instead of drawing power from the state grid. Since Bangalore suffers a shortage of 250 MW at peak time, this is the amount of power that would need to be generated through DG sets.
But since the cost of power generation through such sets is Rs 11-Rs 12 per kwh, against the state grid supply price of Rs 5 per kwh, the companies using DG sets would need to be compensated the difference. Pune raised this amount by increasing consumer power tariffs by about 42 paise per unit, something that they called a ‘reliability charge’, or a charge that will guarantee them uninterrupted power.

It will involve a higher cost, which has to be borne either by the government or by consumers or a combination of the two. The KERC has said that if the tariff has to increase, then we must first obtain consumers’ consent.
The other big step the state is pushing for is staggering of weekly holidays, so that power consumption per day declines.

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Now, the maximum tariff level for HT consumers is generally not more than Rs 4/- pu. Generally, it will be these HT consumers, with large genset capacities, that BESCOM will be targeting for foregoing their energy entitlements. But, for that, BESCOM will require to pay them at a minimum of Rs 7/- pu (11 - 4). After adding say Rs 2/- pu for their efforts, BESCOM can still sell it at Rs 9/- pu to LT commercial clusters like the Brigade road/ Commercial Street shop owners, etc, who will welcome the uninterrupted power, even at Rs 3/- pu higher than their regular tariff level of Rs 6/- for normal unreliable power. They can besides avoid operating their noisy, smoke-belching, individual gensets. The talk of 42 paise pu, in the midst of all this, doesn't quite seem to fit in, unless of course, BESCOM wants to do the 'aam aadmi' a favour.

Whatever, all these are at best short-lived. If you go to the KERC web-site (, and click on 'reform efforts', you'll see what the government itself had decided almost a decade ago, but which various vested interests, within and outside, have been sabotaging in various ways. It is indeed a dismal scenario.

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Muralidhar Rao


Ravi_D's picture

Staggered holidays?

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According to yesterday's Hindu article, staggered holidays are here, starting today!. Knowing how easily our media gets carried away, I'm quite skeptic though. Let us see where this leads us.

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