By Prakash VL
The coal crisis has finally caught up with Bengalureans; students and professionals studying and working from home are bearing the brunt of frequent power cuts
The current power crisis is turning day-to-day life topsy-turvy for Bengalureans as a majority of techies are still working from home while many students are still learning via online mode. In the last few weeks, there have been severe power cuts across the city and incessant rainfall has only made the matter worse.
Vivekananda S, a resident of Benson Town, said: “There have been more than five to six hours of power cuts in the last few days. Though I have UPS at home, the backup is only for a few hours. As a result, I am unable to plug in my system or wireless router. My work is severely hampered because of this power cut.”
Kalyani R, a resident of T Dasarahalli said that at her home, online education was being hampered. “Both my daughters are attending online classes. Currently, their exams are going on which are conducted online. Whenever there is rainfall, the power goes off and it would take hours for it to be restored. Now, with the coal crisis looming ahead, I am scared.”
Sources said that if the coal crisis worsens, power companies may resort to unscheduled load shedding. The demand for power in the state is 10,500 MW daily, but the production of power on Monday was only 7,500 MW. This created a shortage of 3,500 MW. Unscheduled load shedding was reported in many places in the state. As the highest use of power is in the evening, there is not enough supply to manage the demand. This has created a burden on hydro, solar, and wind power generation facilities.
My daughters have their exams which are being held online. Everytime the power goes off, it takes hours to be restored
– Kalyani R, a resident of Dasarahalli
However, Energy Minister V Sunil Kumar on Tuesday claimed that there was no coal shortage in the state. “The Centre will provide coal supplies in another two days, and there will be no shortage in production. There are a lot of precautionary measures being taken for preventing disruption in power generation. The power shortage in the state is nothing but imaginary. One rake of coal has already reached the state in the morning which is sufficient to run the Raichur and Bellary Thermal Power stations operational for time being.” He said that the Union Government had assured supplying eight rakes of coal to the State. The State has requested to increase two more rakes and the Union Government has responded positively, claimed the minister. “We have also requested to increase two more rakes by the end of November and the Centre has approved our request. So, there is no question of coal shortage and power crisis,” he assured.
Coal supply disruption not only affected the power generation but also hindered steel production. Sponge iron factories are now facing a shortage of coal supply. They are also facing a rise in prices. Earlier, each tonne was costing around Rs 5,000 – Rs 6,000 and the prices are likely to go up.