Bengaluru in the dark

Bangalore City

BESCOM (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited) says there is no load-shedding as promised but citizens say otherwise.

Shreya, who works from her home in Whitefield, continuously tweets about power cuts in Bengaluru. Her latest tweet reads, “Sixth time in a day, no power again…Is BESCOM really efficient to provide power for Silicon Valley of India?” Shreya is not the only one, if someone searches power cuts in Bengaluru on Twitter, they could just keep scrolling.

Shreya tweeted that BESCOM should start providing a reason for such frequent power cuts. She said, “Are we supposed to quit our jobs because BESCOM cannot provide power? The summer has not yet started and the situation is already like this.”

People from different parts of the city are raising complaints about power cuts that last as long as eight hours. This is happening despite the Karnataka Energy department’s announcement on March 15, 2023 that there will be no power cuts till May. The managing director of BESCOM, Mahantesh Bilagi, had said that in the interest of farmers and students who will be taking their Karnataka Secondary School Leaving Certificate Examination (SSLC) and Pre-University Course (PUC) exams, there will be no load shedding across the state till May. 

However, a student who is about to take his SSLC exams said that the power cuts are still happening and there has been no respite. The SSLC exam had started on March 31, 2023 and will end on April 15, 2023. The exams are conducted in a single shift – from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

A BESCOM official said, “There is no load-shedding happening. The power cuts do not happen for long hours but only for short durations due to technical issues. The power cuts are happening only during peak hours because of electricity tripping.”

The official said that BESCOM is keeping up with its promise despite the shortage of coal and other things. The electricity board is purchasing power from various companies to keep providing uninterrupted power supply. He added that the Board is also using alternative sources of power like wind and thermal to fulfil the per day demand. 

BESCOM says no load-shedding is happening despite citizens raising complaints about frequent power cuts.

However, Suranjana, a resident of HBR Layout, said, “There have been continuous power cuts for the last two weeks. I have already registered more than 10 complaints and there has been no improvement. BESCOM’s customer care is the worst.” 

The BESCOM official said, “If there are power supply problems in a specific area, we will address the issue as it is our responsibility. Complaints registered on BESCOM’s Sahayavani are addressed by subdivisional officers who work on it until power is restored.” 

BESCOM, in a press release, had estimated the peak hour energy demand for the next three months. It was estimated that an average of 7,600 megawatts of power will be needed per day during March, and power consumption will likely be 132 million units. An average of 7,400 megawatts demand was recorded for 12 days in March. For April, an average of 7,650 megawatts of power is estimated and consumption of power will likely reach 135 million units per day. 

The release also stated that all electricity supply companies (ESCOMS)—BESCOM, Mangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (MESCOM), Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company Limited (GESCOM), and Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (CESC) Mysore—have been equipped with sufficient financial strength to purchase the power required to meet the demand during the summer.