From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Sep 22: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday demanded to know from the energy department officials as to why Karnataka’s power generation has been lower than the installed capacity in the last four years.
Holding a meeting with senior officials of the energy department in Bengaluru, the chief minister took the officials to task for not doing anything to improve the State’s power generation.
Karnataka’s installed power generation capacity is 32,009 mega watts but presently the power generated has not crossed this level or even touched the installed capacity in the last four years.
Energy minister K J George, chief minister’s political secretary Nasir Ahmed and additional chief secretary Dr Rajneesh Goel and energy department additional chief secretary Gaurav Gupta, finance department secretary Dr M T Reju attended the meeting.
Siddaramaiah said the power generation had doubled during the first tenure of his chief ministership despite all difficulties.He pointed out that the power generation in 2013-14 was 14,008 MW and by the end of 2017-18, it had shot up to 27,780 MW, which was almost the double.
Taken aback by the blunt questions from the chief minister, the energy department officials explained that the quality of the coal supplied by the Centre was of inferior quality and it resulted in lower power generation.
"The supply of inferior quality of coal has been brought to notice of the Centre,’’ they said and mentioned that two additional rakes of coal supply has been sought daily.
Efforts are also being made to import coal and tenders have already been invited, they said.
The chief minister directed the officials to take necessary steps to ensure that the power generation matches the installed capacity. Steps should be taken to ensure that the coal should not be allowed to be dampened as it affects the power generation.
He also asked the officials to take steps to encourage farmers to utilise solar powered irrigation pumpsets as it would reduce the demand. Unauthorised IP sets must be checked besides systematic efforts to prevent pilferage and leakage.
The State government has released Rs 1,400 crore to the energy supply companies (Escoms) to meet the cost of the zero bills under the Gruha Jyothi scheme for supply of free power up to 200 units for all domestic users.
As many as 1.26 crore domestic consumers have been provided with zero bills in the month of August and 1.35 crore consumers in September.
The chief minister said the state government has released Rs 2,500 crore for
establishing power sub-stations.