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Idle IP sets in villages help save power for Gescom

KALABURAGI: Frequent power cut has come down during summer in cities under Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company (Gescom) thanks to the depletion of groundwater and consecutive droughts the district faced in the previous years. 

About 60% of Gescom’s power is consumed by Irrigation Pump (IP) sets installed in the rural areas to pump water from streams, rivers, borewells and open wells to cultivate crops. However, with the shrinking agriculture area and non-availability of water in these sources, the pump sets remained idle, thus, drastically lessening the power consumption. 

An official said the Gescom requires about 18 million units of power a day. There are eight 220kv receiving stations under the power utility. Consecutive droughts have come as a blessing in disguise to the power utility. Due to the drought, the groundwater has depleted further, forcing the farmers to stop pump sets which, in turn, saved power to the company, he explained.

Another reason for the decreased power outing is the availability of solar power in recent years. As Kalyana Karnataka region is known for the scorching sun, the solar power is being tapped. Not only in KK region but also across the State, solar power is available during summer. It has also reduced the dependency on thermal power stations, the officer said.

Earlier, feeders for Nirantara Jyothi scheme and domestic purpose were same resulting in frequent trips. After separate feeders were installed, the power outage has come down considerably, he explained. 

Admitting that load shedding has come down considerably in cities, Deepak Gala, a social activist, said the State has about 29,000 million unit surplus power now. But, Gescom should supply uninterrupted power to rural areas also to become self-reliant economically. If the uninterrupted power is ensured to rural areas of this region, small scale industries will come up, triggering employment generation, he said.

Instead of selling power to other States at the lower price, it should be utilised in the State for inclusive development. At the same time, updating transformers is a must to provide uninterrupted power, he opined, stating that it is difficult to say that electricity has saved due to the drought and depletion of groundwater.

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