And, there might be no respite from this until October. According to Bescom officials, power cuts are likely to extend for 2-3 months owing to a variety of electrical and infrastructural works.
D Nagarjuna, director (technical), Bescom, said: “One of the key reasons is regular maintenance that happens once every three months as per industry norms. Adding to this, the shifting of hazardous transformers too requires disconnection of power, affecting supply.”
Bescom, he said, is also compensating for what it could not do during the examination season.
“We stopped maintenance and other upgrades during the exam season as it would have affected students. Pending works are now being taken up and hence, there are day-long power cuts. Also, we’ve set a target of replacing about 2,500 hazardous transformers, as directed by the high court, in the next few months. This work will disrupt power supply,” Nagarjuna said.
A year ago, Bescom had assured citizens that Bengaluru would be free of power cuts by converting the existing overhead transmission lines into underground cables. This has not happened.
Bescom general manager (consumer relations) Nagaraj clarified: “About 80% of the underground (UG) cabling work is complete. But UG cables have never been charged or commissioned all these days. As we’ve begun commissioning this network, we are taking line clearances, resulting in disruption of power.”
Acknowledging that these works have affected uninterrupted supply of power in the last two years across Bengaluru, he said: “… But as we’ve accomplished 80-85% of the planned upgrades and are in the process of switching over to the upgraded system, there will be power cuts for another three months.”
Escoms low on manpower
While electrical and infrastructural works hamper power supply, a shortage of manpower at Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited and other Escoms has equally contributed to the problem. Senior officials told TOI the energy department is reeling under a staff crunch of almost 39%.
“The energy department has a sanctioned strength of 87,610 (officers and others), and 34,000 posts are vacant. The highest vacancy is among D group workers (46.9%) comprising linemen, technicians, drivers and others who are generally the first responders,” a senior official said.