It’s monsoon and unscheduled power cuts have become a norm. Officials say there are four main reasons for this.

Facing unscheduled power cuts in Bengaluru TNM tells you why
news Civic Issues Saturday, June 09, 2018 - 16:04

On Friday night, certain areas in Mahadevapura in Bengaluru city experienced power cuts. The residents of Chinnappa Layout kept waiting for power to come back but to no avail.

“Every other day there is power cut that lasts at least for 6 hours. When it happened on Friday night, I tried calling Bescom to register a complaint but all their phones are always busy. The helpline is defunct. The message – this telephone number does not exist comes when we call the helpline. There are old people living here. Some of our neighbours require power day and night for medical reasons and they are suffering,” said Ajay Malhotra, a resident.

Residents of many areas like BTM layout, Medahalli, Whitefield, Bannerghatta Road and Chandapura have also been facing unscheduled power cuts. Many allege that these unscheduled power outages range from 6 to sometimes 15 hours.

“We have had power cuts regularly since March. Initially, the power would go for a couple of hours, come back for an hour and get cut again for two to three hours. This was in March. In late May and first week of June, it got worse. I have registered five complaints and no one attended to it,” says Meenu Rathore, a resident of Chandapura.

Congestion

According to Bescom DGM Lakshminarayan, the power cuts happen during the monsoon due to local congestion, line congestion and digging work carried out by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and Bengaluru Metro rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL).

“While they (agencies like BBMP, BWSSB and BMRCL) carry out digging work, the cables get damaged. When this kind of damage occurs, people have to be deployed for repair works and we have to turn off the power for safety purposes until the damage has been repaired,” Lakshminarayan said.

Wind and rain

However, during monsoon, DGM Laksminarayan says that unscheduled power cuts also depend on the force of the wind and the rain.

“There will obviously be power cuts in areas where the velocity of the wind is high and also in areas where there is heavy rainfall. During rain, there is a chance of flash over of transmission line insulators or short circuit when trees fall on electric lines. Electrical faults happen when overhead lines touch each other. In such situations, the circuit breaker opens to protect the transmission line. But as this opens suddenly, the load on other transmission lines can increase and when there is overload, the feeder trips, which causes power cuts. That’s why the voltage supply during monsoon is low. It is for safety purposes,” Lakshminarayan added.

Increase in peak demand

According to Bescom General Manager (Customer Relations) Jayanti, another problem is that the peak demand of electricity has increased from 10,242 MW in 2017 to 10,777 MN in 2018. “We have only 10,200 MW availability and that’s why we resort to low voltage transmission of power. In some areas, the feeders have tripped due to the wind and it is being rectified. It generally takes about 4 to 6 hours for a complaint to be addressed. In case of drastic damage like transformers bursting and trees falling on electric lines, it may take longer,” she added.

Fault in feeders

Assistant General Manager (Load Shedding) of BESCOM, Shivashankar, said that feeder faults are the main reasons for the rampant power cuts in the city and said that there was no load shedding being carried out. He said that there were constraints faced by the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL), the agency responsible for power transmission in Karnataka.

“There are not enough transformers and some of the existing ones are so old that they burst every time it rains. These have been repaired time and again and that is also one of the reasons for power cuts. We have have told them (KPTCL) about these issues and they have agreed to solve it,” he added.

 

 

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