electric powerLoad sheddingThe load shedding, declared by Kerala State Electricity Board from January 1-15, is the result of gross mismanagement of power generation.

Kerala had copious rains this year and its reservoirs had record inflows this year. Yet, the Board ended up with a shortage.

There are a few things that led to this situation. The Board resorted to excess generation during the monsoons, overestimating the inflows and sold some power to neighouring States. It failed to maintain full reservoir levels by the end of the North East monsoon. It is understandable that the Board was cautious with Idukki reservoir because of the risk posed by the spillage from the Mullapperiyar reservoir. However, there is little justification to its failure with respect to other major reservoirs such as those of Sabarigiri Project.

Maintenance of generating stations by the Board has been poor for years. This is taking its toll in terms of outage. The accident at Panniyar and the resultant loss of generation could be blamed on poor maintenance and poor supervision.

The load shedding would hit the small information technology and other industrial units, as they have to spend more on uninterrupted power supplies. The beneficiaries were those who brought bulk power from Kerala. An enquiry is perhaps in order to see that the load shedding became necessary by default or design.

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