Bengaluru: The picture of Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah presenting state Budget with the help of a mobile phone torch held by an Assembly staff tells the story. It explains the unprecedented power shortage in the state.
The state is facing a huge shortage of 2000 Megawatts of power. Failed monsoon in 2015 has resulted in a severe water crisis in many parts. The mercury is also rising across the state, touching 40 degree Celsius at many places even the peak summer season is yet to start.
Now, the state government has virtually set a time table for students to study for exams. Power Minister DK Shivakumar has informed the state Assembly that there will be an uninterrupted power supply between 6 PM and 10 PM and again between 6 AM and 9 AM to enable the students to study.
When the main opposition BJP raised the issue in state Assembly, he said that since power crisis is huge, the government can provide the power only between these hours by directing the power supply companies not to cut electricity during these hours.
The minister, who is facing flak for the umpteen power supply disruptions in punishing summer, on Thursday recommended this study schedule to students, reassuring them that his department will try its best to provide uninterrupted power supply. Replying to a special discussion in the Legislative Assembly on the drought situation and power shortage in the state, Shivakumar said he had directed officials of the five power supply companies that there should be no power cuts during "study hours" of students both in urban and rural areas. "We will borrow or beg power, but will not put our students to hardship," the minister said according to a report in the Deccan Herald.
According to him power supply companies have also been instructed not to cut power supply to drinking water pumping stations, even if they have outstanding dues. The state is struggling to meet power demand, he said.