As Bengaluru grapples with four-hour load-shedding everyday, the state government says it's helpless in the face of the worst drought in 25 years.
CM Envirosystems Chairman J Crasta said, "When unscheduled power cuts happen, we can't have a dedicated time line for customers. Customer won't give orders next time so power cut is spoiling whole production. The maximum power payment is done by industry… for one hour if they cut… 200 crores is the loss… for the whole of Karnataka."
Karnataka's power crisis has gone from bad to worse over the last two weeks, with reservoir levels dipping nearly 50 per cent. The state needs 9000 MW, but it barely has 6000 MW.
Karnataka Energy Minister DK Shivakumar said, "We never expected this big drought… shortage is totally 3000 mega watt now with this great drought, we are not able to generate much on hydel. One to two months, we have to bear this,.. by December we will get purchased power."
Power available in three major hydel reservoirs is steadily slipping. The Linganamakki reservoir has a shortfall of 44 per cent, Supa has 41 per cent storage and Mani reservoir has a whopping 61 per cent storage.
"We have committed to seven hours power… we are requesting farmers to change the crop pattern, since irrigation supply has also become hard, " Shivakumar said.
Districts in North Karnataka are the worst affected by the massive power crisis.