Kerala goverment, opposition argue as state faces power cuts

June 27th, 2008 - 5:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, June 27 (IANS) The Kerala government Friday implemented its decision of cutting electricity supply for 30 minutes everyday even as the opposition accused the administration of having mishandled the situation. Former minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said in the assembly that had the Left government worked to a plan, the need to have regular power cuts would not have arisen.

“You are not telling the people of Kerala that while they will face 30 minutes of power cut everyday, you are selling power to the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC),” he said.

This is the first time in two years that Kerala is facing regular power cuts. The supply will be cut in a phased manner between 6.30 p.m. and 10.30 p.m.

Kerala requires 2,700 MW of electricity every day during peak hours but currently only 2,200 MW is available.

State Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem said: “We are selling electricity to NTPC to get extra money and this is done only during the period when the rivers are full. But now this has also been suspended.

“We have to get 1,041 MW from the central pool and today we get just 700 MW. Another reason why this has happened is we are unable to produce around 350 MW of electricity because of the break down of the Moozhiyar power house.”

Of the total installed power generation capacity of 2,700 MW in the state, hydro-electric power constitutes 1,811 MW. Among the 30 power generating stations in Kerala, 24 are hydro-based, five are run on thermal power and one functions on wind power.

However, Radhakrishnan dismissed the government’s claim that electricity being sold to NTPC was generated from free flowing rivers.

“The truth is that the electricity being sold to NTPC is generated using water from our dams. That is why the water levels in the dams has receded dramatically,” he said.

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