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Heat cripples southern states; Karnataka worst hit by power and water crisis

Heat cripples southern states; Karnataka worst hit by power and water crisis

It's a harsh summer in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana too, where the mercury has soared to 40 degrees in many places. And it is expected to go up further thanks to a delayed monsoon.

It's a miserable summer ahead for the southern states as temperatures hit nearly 40 degree Celsius in different places across the vast Deccan plateau. Karnataka is faced with a huge power crisis while other states battle a water shortage.

In Bengaluru, Varsha B Saka, a class 12 student prays for power cut free days as she prepares for her state board exams. "We can't study at night due to frequent power cuts," she said.

It's not just students, industries across the state are reeling under unscheduled load shedding, affecting production and business. Karnataka is short of over 2000 mega watt of power, with five major generations units being shut down. In addition to that, a severe drought in 12 districts has caused levels in reservoirs to come down triggering a sharp drop in power generation.

Jacob Crasta, an industrialist said, "Industries are being affected terribly because just a few months back there was a staggered holiday because of power crisis. That means sometimes they were even closed on Mondays, Sundays, Thursdays, Fridays. Now we have two hours of unscheduled power cuts per day. Because of unscheduled power cuts we lose Rs 100 crore per hour. The power minister knows about it. Probably he is not able to do anything because this is a recurring problem in Karnataka."

In neighbouring Kerala, an acute drinking water shortage is being felt in many districts as summer picks up pace. The government's efforts to supply water through other means has been halted by the election commission as it violates the code of conduct leaving a miffed Oommen Chandy government to consider legal action against the poll panel. The met department does not give hopes of any respite from the heat soon.

Commenting on the severe heat in the south of the country, BP Yadav, MeT Director of Forecast in New Delhi said, "Day and night temperatures are above normal by a few degrees. Rainfall is not likely in most southern states and Maharashtra."

It's a harsh summer in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana too, where the mercury has soared to 40 degrees in many places. And it is expected to go up further thanks to a delayed monsoon.

People are really worried about the next two months. One resident said, "It is actually scary because it is only March and the temperature is 40 degree Celsius."

Another resident said, "When I go out I ensure that I am wrapped up properly to not get burnt in this sun."

Clearly it's not just the elections that's reached a feverish pitch.

first published:March 22, 2016, 19:53 IST