Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah directs to take urgent measures to meet power demand, ensure efficiency

Bengaluru (Karnataka): Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday chaired the Energy Department Progress Review Meeting paving the way for significant reforms and actions to address the escalating electricity demand and enhance distribution efficiency in the state.

Crucial directives and decisions were made in the pivotal Progress Review Meeting held today to tackle the surging demand for electricity amid the state’s severe drought conditions.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah issued stern instructions to the Managing Directors (MDs) of Eskoms, emphasizing the need to supply electricity to farmers continuously for five hours in three shifts each day.

He stressed the importance of avoiding load shedding to support the agricultural sector.

Recognizing the high demand for electricity in agriculture, the Chief Minister called for measures to ensure a minimum of five hours of uninterrupted power supply to farmers.

The efficient distribution of available electricity was emphasized, with MDs of Eskoms urged to take measures that do not disrupt farmers. Nodal Officers were appointed district-wise among Chief Engineers to oversee the provision of an uninterrupted 5-hour power supply, as per the statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office.

Siddaramaiah suggested the formation of a committee, chaired by the District In-charge Minister, to oversee the implementation of decisions made during the meeting.

It was highlighted that the state’s installed power generation capacity increased by 4,000 MW over the past five years, bringing the total to 32,000 MW. However, challenges exist due to the intermittent nature of 16,000 MW solar power. Additionally, progress has been made in resolving coal-related issues, the statement mentioned.

Officials announced plans to secure 300 MW from Uttar Pradesh and 600 MW from Punjab starting in November. Furthermore, with the approval of the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC), steps will be taken to purchase 1,500 MW of short-term electricity.

The meeting addressed the enactment of Section 11 of the Electricity Act, enabling the procurement of electricity from in-state generators during national calamities as a solution to power shortages.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah stressed the importance of creating annual contingency plans to combat the severe power shortage in southern states and urged against treating the issue as a mere exercise.

Reports revealed a 13 per cent power distribution loss, with a notable reduction in electricity theft in households. Industrial electricity theft was reported to be minimal.

Electricity demand increased in certain districts due to sugarcane crop irrigation. It was explained that this demand is expected to decrease once sugarcane harvesting and milling commence, as co-generation with sugarcane milling will contribute to power availability, the statement added.

(With inputs from ANI)


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