Lights Out In Kerala? After Years Of LDF And UDF Neglect, Electricity Grid May Now Be Forced To Start Load Shedding

Swarajya Staff

Apr 02, 2019, 01:14 PM | Updated 01:14 PM IST

Representative image of an electricity tower in Mumbai (Satish Bate/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Representative image of an electricity tower in Mumbai (Satish Bate/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Following a steady rise in the consumption of electricity in Kerala, households in the state may soon face the prospect of load shedding, reports Mathrubhumi. The state could have to rely on purchasing extra electricity from private companies at exorbitant rates since its successive governments have not adequately upgraded its power production and distribution capacity to keep pace with rising demand.

The supply of electricity from the national grid is also now being regulated due to the rapid rise in demand for power in the southern states, thought to be caused by increased adoption of electricity-intensive products such as air conditioners.

The state has to inform the Southern Regional Load Dispatch Centre (SRLDC) in Bengaluru about the expected demand for the coming day. This electricity is then dispatched from the national grid, up to a limit of an additional 150 megawatts. The caveat is that this extra power is cut off after one and a half hour of use, also resulting in lakhs of rupees in fines.

In such a situation, the state would necessarily have to begin load shedding. To deal with increased demand, if electricity were to be bought from private companies through a power exchange, the state would end up paying Rs 11-12 per unit, an extremely expensive fix, considering that electricity from the centre comes at Rs 2-3.50 per unit.

The dire state of affairs that Kerala now finds itself with regard to the supply of a basic necessity as power, raises the obvious question of what successive Left Democratic Front (LDF) and United Democratic Front (UDF) governments were doing for years in order to ensure the state could meet its future power needs.

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