Bengaluru: “Due to an impending power crisis, the state government has decided to advance its power purchase by 750MW daily till May next year at Rs 342 crore per month”, said Energy minister D K Shivakumar.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, the minister said that the decision has been as a result of poor storage in major reservoirs and the unexpected shutdown of Udupi Power Corporation Limited (UPCL).
Reviewing the power supply situation, the minister said that Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) will buy the power from 38 private producers at a cost of Rs 5.08 per unit to offset an average daily deficit of 3,000 MW.
“The additional financial burden on the state exchequer is expected to be around Rs 342 crore per month and the estimated expenditure till May 2016 works out to more than Rs 3,078 crore,” he said.
The minister said the procurement price for Karnataka is cheaper than that paid by the neighbouring states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. He said the suppliers quoted Rs 7.20 per unit, which was finally negotiated down to Rs 5.08.
Shivakumar, however, ruled out further power cuts in both rural and urban areas, saying that “the rainfall situation may improve in the coming days”.
He said that apart from the low storage in Supa, Mani, Kadra and Alamatti dams, the unexpected technical hitch at the 1,200-MW UPCL had worsened the power supply in the state.
As on August 15, the total storage in the three major reservoirs of Linganamakki, Mani and Supa is enough to produce 4,020 million units as against the 6,573 million units produced last year around the same time.
“Against the total installed capacity of 10,189 MW, the availability of power from all the sources is only about 6,600 to 7,300 MW (daily),” he said.
Expressing apprehension over supplying adequate power to the agriculture sector this year, the minister appealed to farmers to change their cropping pattern. The electricity supply companies in the state are getting only 168 million units of power as against the daily requirement of at least 184 million units, he said.
Senior officials in the Energy Department, including Ravi Kumar and Maheshwar Rao Balaram, were also present.