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Money Crisis, Power crisis

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Power

Blame empty coffers for power outages. The crisis has arisen as power generation in hydel power stations has been low due to a weak monsoon. The main power generation centre, Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS), has been affected as coal suppliers have been demanding KPCL clear outstanding debts and increase pay per load.
    
The RTPS needs a few lakh tonnes of coal a day to keep up generation and meet demand.
    
However, since Bescom’s financial position is not too bright given pending arrears, the management is now pushing area assistant executive engineers to collect around Rs 30 crore from outstanding bills. The power defaulters are mainly commercial and industrial users.
    
At a meeting on Thursday, Bescom will chalk out ways to augment its revenue to meet additional power needs. Despite assurances from the government about phasing out load-shedding, most areas experience one-hour power cuts in the morning, evening and also at random. Residents complain that the power supply is irregular and the cuts are often for more than an hour.
    
Load-shedding to continue:
The demand for power in the state has reduced but loadshedding will continue. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, energy minister K S Eshwarappa said although the power problem is not grim, load-shedding will continue. Bellary and Raichur thermal plants are generating maximum capacity and there is no shortage of coal.

For the full report, click on:
http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=VE9JQkcvMjAwOC8xMC8xNiNBcjAwMzAw&Mode=HTML&Locale=english-skin-custom


The talk of commercial and industrial users defaulting is all plain bunkum. How can they afford not to pay when BESCOM, the monopoly supplier, will just switch off even in case of a few hours' default. What the minister is refusing to talk about is the colossal amount of subsidy arrears the government has to release to the ESCOMS, who in turn have to pay KPTCL, and who in turn have to pay the KPCL, and KPCL to Coal India and Railways. The gravity of the situation can be appreciated when you realise that, on any given day, the amount owing to KPCL from its only customer, KPTCL, is of the order of 11 months' billing. It's just a miracle that the show goes on. For how long, nobody can say. Government's not taking immediate steps to effect the necessary correctives is quite the height of irresponsibility.

Check also:
http://praja.in/bangalore/blog/murali772/2008/05/28/imperatives-privatisation-power-distribution

Muralidhar Rao

Comments

No action on power thieves

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47 users have liked.
A good number of power thieves are actually industries and other "house hold" industries. It is precisely against these people that the Govt should crack the whip on. In Malleswaram, where i live, there is a certain tiny scale industrialist who has turned his home into a metal workshop and draws a lot of power and is ironically only charged "residence" rates. He is just a good example of our disguised power leech. Power thieves are different from power leeches. The former do not pay anything while the latter defraud the ESCOMs of much needed electricity. Lastly, ESCOMs should revise upwardl the tariff for residential users during peak hours. This will bring in the additional revenue they need. Upmarket areas in cities could be made to pay a bit more so that poor homes can be suffeciently cross-subsidised to be electrified.
idontspam's picture

Power thieves

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50 users have liked.
Its not that bescom does not know, its that they have been bribed to look the other way. From linemen to meter reader everybody gets something. Bribing has become a force of habit. My previous neighbour used to bribe even the drain cleaners not to come near his house. I thought he want to live in filth. Later I understood he was afraid of them displacing the stone bridge over the drain which was blocking the drain. He had so many violations he used to bribe anybody and everybody who came near his house.
murali772's picture

collapse imminent!

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61 users have liked.

Very much as IDS has stated, it is all in connivance with the BESCOM lot. As compared to that, in Mumbai, even Dawwod Ibrahim's henchman in Dharawi, pays up Anil Ambani controlled Reliance Power bill on time. And, if the engineers fool around, they will be sacked summarily.

The fact is also that with the salary levels of Reliance engineers being over three times the BESCOM levels, they generally wouldn't need to fool around. But, another fact of course is that the BESCOM engineers' earnings  would be higher than that of a Reliance engineer of equivalent rank, large portion of it being from bribes. Perhaps they are happier this way, and that's why they are doing everything to prevent furtherance of the government notified privatisation programme.

But, as a result of it all, the system itself is on the verge of a total collapse!

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao

BESCOM privatisation

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Atleast power generation has been substantially privatised in Karnataka. Although Karnataka's power regulatory framework is better than other states, it fails to induce more investment in actual power generation. Most of the wind and small hydel projects are just used for their depreciation benefits for industries. Even now, we do not have a dedicated utility grade wind farm in Karnataka. Kaiga's proximity to the Karwar port could be a benefit in the long run for Karnataka should uranium imports pick up. The erstwhile KEB was split up into production, transmission and distribution companies. The power reforms mandate that BESCOM be privatised as well. It remains to be seen how this is carried forward.

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