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Neighbours suck power, leave Karnataka in dark

As the Telanga stir curtails coal supply to thermal units of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, both states are overdrawing electricity meant for Karnataka

If coal shortage in the state was not enough, Karnataka that has been unable to tide over the crisis has accused neighboring states such as Tamil Nadu of overdrawing power from the national grid.

According to the power department, this has further fueled the crisis situation in the powerless state.


Though Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh get a king's share from the
grid, at present even these states are reeling under shortage due
to the Telangana stir

Karnataka gets a total of around 1,500 MW from the southern gird, while Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh get 3,000 MW each.

Despite getting more power than Karnataka, these states are overdrawing around 500 MW from the grid, courtesy the ongoing Talengana stir that has also curtailed the coal supply to AP and TN.

Energy Department officials told MiD DAY that this is not the first time that Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have violated the grid code and overdrawn power.

There have been instances when both these states were given warning by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission for overdrawing power.

Though Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh get a king's share from the grid, at present even these states are reeling under shortage due to the Telangana stir that has affected the coal supply.

"From the allotted power, we are losing around 500 MW to other states. The problem is that these states too are facing a power shortage due the Telangana stir," said a senior official from the Energy Department.

Code violation
Since the issue of power overdrawing comes under the legal sphere of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), the state government doesn't have any direct powers to take action.

"Overdrawing of power amounts to grid violation, but only the CERC can take action against this.

The grid is usually monitored by the Southern Regional Load Dispatch Center that in turn is supposed to notify the Central authority about any such violations," said V Hiremath, Member, State Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Asked why no action has been initiated yet against the violators, the Load Dispatch Centre officials refused to comment.

Rains relief
Although the frequent showers in the city in the past few days have brought temporary relief, the problem is far from solved. The rains have helped the utility companies by taking off the agricultural load.

"It has been raining for the past two days, due to which our agricultural load has come down. Now, the shortage is only around 300 MW," said P Manivannan, Managing Director, BESCOM.

However, he fears that once the rains stops, the consumption will be back to normal and the problem of dealing with the shortage would magnify ten fold.

"Right now, we are not worried much, but if the Telangana issue continues, it is going to be a serious concern," added Manivannan.

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