Power cut for one full day to get 24-hr supply next day: Karnataka CM

However, experts say it is impractical to do so in Karnataka, considering its infrastructure and power capability

Power cut for one full day to get 24-hr supply next day: Karnataka CM

Keen on fulfilling his promise to provide uninterrupted power supply to farmers, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday suggested total power cut for alternate days: consolidate all the load-shedding hours into one day, and then release uninterrupted power the next.

He made this announcement at a review meeting for drought-relief measures in Vijayapura district and also asked officials to run a pilot in North Karnataka.

Taking inspiration from neighbouring state of Maharashtra, he said this way uninterrupted power could be supplied to farmers.

However, experts say it is impractical to replicate the model in Karnataka, considering its infrastructure and power capability.

A senior engineer with Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (KPTCL) told Bangalore Mirror: “We can cut power for 24 hours, but it’s impossible to supply power for 24 hours straight without any interruption. There will be technical problems at feeder level that would scuttle the plan. While people may agree for power cuts, they may become rebellious if there are any power cuts during that 24-hour supply period.”

Currently, on an average, every feeder trips at least 100-120 times in a month. “In a day, it trips at least 2-3 times due to heavy load and poor maintenance. All of us are aware of how efficient the maintenance system is in rural areas. As a result, management of the situation becomes difficult and it would have severe impact on water supply and lighting. You cannot expect people to finish off their work in 24 hours and sit idle for the next 24 hours,” an independent power analyst from Bengaluru told the news daily.
Most importantly, Karnataka and Maharashtra are radically different in the Energy sector. While farmers in Maharashtra pay for what they consume, in Karnataka, it is provided free of cost. Average voltage across Maharashtra is more than 22 kV and above, while in Karnataka, it is still supplied through 11 kV network.