B'lore: BSY Opens Purse for Political Power through Electric Power


B'lore: BSY Opens Purse for Political Power through Electric Power

From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Bangalore

Bangalore, Mar 9: Strange but true. Karnataka’s BJP Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who is famous for doling out funds for various religious Mutts as well as big and small castes and communities in the four budgets that he has presented so far, has now gone all out to prove that paucity of funds will not come in the way of buying electric power if it helps in securing political power.
 
Yeddyurappa, who is determined to ensure that BJP wins at least 20 out of the 28 Lok Sabha seats from Karnataka in next month’s elections, is well aware of the fact that students preparing for their final examinations, farmers and industrialists not to mention other sections of society are groaning due to unscheduled load-shedding in Bangalore and other districts almost throughout the day and night.  With summer season hotting up and the yawning gap between demand and supply widening, the government is leaving no stone unturned to procure more power and ease the situation unmindful of the cost.



Energy Minister K S Eshwarappa, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa

Though the BJP government in Gujarat led by the saffron party’s iconic leader Narendra Modi is itself facing a severe power shortage, Yeddyurappa has succeeded in prevailing upon Modi to supply 100 MW of power to Karnataka Grid from Tuesday (March 10) itself and persuaded the Bellary-based private sector Jindal Power Limited to feed another 200 MW from Wednesday as part of the efforts to partially tide over the crisis.

"The Chief Minister’s intervention and persuasive skills have saved the day," gushed Karnataka’s Energy Minister K S Eshwarappa, who incidentally belongs to Yeddyurappa’s Shimoga district and considered quite close to him. "We will spare no efforts to ensure that students, farmers and all sections of people were not subjected to undue hardships during the summer months," the minister remarked.

Pointing out that the present demand had touched a whopping 142 million units (MU) this month when summer season was just picking up, Eshwarappa predicted that the total demand might exceed the 150 MU mark in April and May as against the present supply of around 133 MU a day during the last few days from all sources.

The minister, who is known to land himself and the Government in trouble due to his frequent statements ranging from resorting to power cuts, load-shedding and no load-shedding, was at pains to explain that the power situation in the state was "extremely grim" and the total availability from all sources, including hydel, thermal, central grid and high cost energy purchases was far below the gallopping demand. "We are managing the situation without officially resorting to load-shedding. But unofficial load-shedding to balance the demand and supply during peak hours in inevitable," he said.

"Gujarat has agreed to supply 100 MW of power to the state depending on our day-to-day requirements," Eshwarappa said without divulging details of the tariff.  But unofficial sources indicated that the cost of obtaining power from Gujarat would be in the range of Rs 9 to Rs 11 per unit, which is the going rate for high cost energy.

The Jindal Power Ltd, which is presently supplying 200 MW of power to the state grid from its first unit, will be supplying another 200 MW from Wednesday (March 11), the tariff for which was yet to be finalised.

Aware of the grim power situation and the depleting reservoir levels in the state, which are the mainstay of hydel power generation, Eshwarappa said the Government has been buying high cost energy from the Central Power Exchange and Trading Grid at a cost of Rs 11 per unit during daytime and Rs 12 per unit during nights and the total cost during the months of December and January was as much as Rs 1,335 crore.  This would further go up in the coming months till the onset of monsoon in June, he indicated.

However, Eshwarappa made it clear that paucity of funds will not be allowed to come in the way of tackling the chronic power situation as the Chief Minister has promised to provide necessary funds. "Our objective is to ensure that the students preparing for their annual final examinations were not made to suffer. Continuous closure of industries or problems confronting shops and business establishments due to lack of power would hurt the economy further and we want to protect the interests of all sections of society," he said.

Karnataka has entered into a deal with Andhra Pradesh-based  Lanco Power Ltd. For supplying 200 MW of power from next month in addition to the present purchases of 200 MW from BJP-ruled Chattisgarh at a cost of Rs 9.04 per unit. The Minister refused to disclose the total cost on power purchases since December and quipped: "Everything will be known in due course as negotiations with different states and entities would be carried out separately," he said.

Though the Chief Minister and other senior cabinet ministers have been blaming the previous Congress-led Governments for their lack of foresight and planning for improving the generation and thereby plunging the state into virtual darkness, the ruling party leaders privately admit that the situation might affect the prospects of BJP if not handled deftly by augmenting supplies even at the cost of buying energy at high cost from whichever source.  `

`If we fail to effectively deal with the situation, the prospects of BJP candidates are bound to be severely affected. Bangalore, which accounts for four parliamentary coonstituencies, as also urban centres like Mysore, Mangalore, Hubli-Dharwad and Belgaum as also in other rural areas, the voters will seek to punish the ruling party. If the mood turns against the government as summer temperature which presently is in the range of 30 to 34 degree Celcius in the air-conditioned city like Bangalore with places like Gulbarga, Raichur and Koppal bound to exceed 40 degree Celcius in the months of April and May, we can forget our objective of winning more than 20 or even 25 out of the 28 seats and will be lucky to retain 15 that BJP won in 2004,' said a sernior BJP leader on condition of anonymity.

  

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Comment on this article

  • Charles D'Mello, Pangala

    Thu, Mar 12 2009

    Till today the scheduled power cuts are happenings. Where is this extra power !!! Only in papers !!!??? I dont think it is a election stunt. This power cut in Bangalore is there since July 2008 and still continues !!!! Our environment protectors has problem with all kind of power stations !!! How can karnataka come up without power, which is important as one of the infrastucture !!!! To gain something we have to lose something. If we need power and development, we may have to sacrifice environment to some extent!!!?????

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  • mohammed, mangalore/dubai

    Tue, Mar 10 2009

    Hope not to see Yaddyurappa & his party again in Karnataka as we all know how much we have suffered...

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • rajesh shetty, Mangalore

    Tue, Mar 10 2009

    We are fed up with the BJP in Karnataka state we don't want to see them in the Centre.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • KRISHNA, mangalore

    Tue, Mar 10 2009

    Best of Luck Mr CM....

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • pradeep, mangalore / Muscat

    Tue, Mar 10 2009

    Dear Chief minister your havea  very rough road ahead, look at the title of this article.  You must take all criticism positively. Remember people of Karnataka brought change in ruling only for development of state. Arranging power during exams / summer is absoulelty great, it doesn't matter how & from where you bring. end of the day results matter.

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  • srivatsa, bangalore

    Mon, Mar 9 2009

    what center?? the central gov has nothing to do with power related things.. yeddy is useless in governing..no timings of load shedding are also put out, the public is suffereing

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  • nagesh nayak, bangalore

    Mon, Mar 9 2009

    SAMUEL RAJSHEKHAR REDDY IS GETTING ELECTRICITY FROM CENTRAL GRID & OTHER REQUIREMENTS FROM CENTRAL WITHOUT DELAY . NO NEED TO EXPLAIN . PSEUDO SECULARISM EFFECT.GUJARATH & KARNATAKA HAVE NO SUPPORT FROM UPA FOR DEVELOPMENTAL PROJECT, NSG CENTRE ETC.STILL BOTH THE STATE WILL EMERGE STRONG INSPITE OF NON COOPERATION FROM UPA.JAI HIND.

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  • Rudy, bantwal

    Tue, Mar 10 2009

    The terror come only through religion. Religion is much more than wife and family even for me too yudi not spending money from is pocket

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  • M.M.Alva, Mangalore

    Mon, Mar 9 2009

    Center neglected request of Karnataka Govt. and entertaining immediately for all demads of A.P. and Tamilnadu. Electricity also not shared to Karnataka from the Cetral grid. Yaddyurappa alloted funds to religions Mutts not terrorist training centres.

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