City suffers most feeder outages among areas served by Bescom

There have been many promises of uninterrupted power supply for Bengaluru. But in reality, the city has suffered far more feeder outages than other districts served by Bescom.

The power utility has 5,407 feeders overall, and 1,526 are in Bengaluru North and South (BMAZ areas). The sum of outage duration of all feeders in BMAZ areas in May alone was 21,248 hours, according to Bescom’s ‘Reliability Indices’. Other districts covered by Bescom, such as Kolar, had 821 hours of feeder outages while Davangere had 479 hours.

Bescom has claimed an average 98.94% on its reliability index of power supply to consumers for the 2017-18 financial year for Bengaluru Urban district.

The contrast between the power utility’s claims and the number of power interruptions has raised the demand for a third-party audit of the reliability index yet again.

Y.G. Muralidharan from the Karnataka Electricity Governance Network said an independent audit system framed by the regulatory authority — in this case Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission — is necessary, apart from a third-party audit. “There should not be a problem in supply at all (given the claim of having excess power). There is no reason other than failure of maintenance.”

Bescom officials blamed ‘external sources’ for damaging its feeders. A senior official said they had studied the figures and the causes, and had found that work undertaken by other utilities, such as the BWSSB, TenderSURE works, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd., had damaged its feeders.

“If, for example, one 220 kv cable is damaged, about 40 stations will be affected. Power availability is not the issue at all,” said the official, adding that only better coordination can resolve the problem.

P. Rajendra Cholan, MD, Bescom, said, “Bengaluru sees a lot of development work as compared to other districts. Simultaneously, there are works undertaken by other agencies too. But consumers will not suffer, as we ensure that, in most cases, power is taken from an alternative feeder if one feeder fails.”

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