This article aims to analyze Karnataka’s sources in context to its electricity sources statistics and India’s Silicon Valley, Bangalore’s BESCOM working around the city.
Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) has a population of approximately 207 lakhs and a land area of 41,092 square km. Formed in 2002, it is responsible for the power distribution of electricity for the eight districts in Karnataka, namely Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Chikkaballapura, Kolar, Davanagere, Tumkur, Chitradurga, and Ramanagara. With its working business zones in Chitradurga Zone, Bangalore Rural Area Zone, Bangalore Metropolitan Area Zone (North), and Bangalore Metropolitan Area Zone (South), it also has 9 Circles, 32 Divisions, 136 subdivisions, and 510 Section Offices.
In November 1999, the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) was established. As part of the next stage of the reform process, Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) separated its transmission and distribution operations in June 2002.
Karnataka's electricity statistics in 2005 were around 7557 gigawatts, 15,149.92 gigawatts in 2015, and close to 31 gigawatts in 2022. Progressively, with a state that covers close to 5.83% of India's total geographical area, Karnataka has a bright and prosperous future in its energy sources. According to Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) "As with southern India overall, Karnataka has abundant renewable energy potential. As such, Karnataka has a massive opportunity to improve its electricity supply while doing away with its over-reliance on operationally challenging, expensive non-mine mouth coal.", According to The Indian Express, Karnataka, as well as Gujarat, are aiming to transition to clean electricity.
According to The Hindu, "Just a few days after the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government promised free power up to 200 units for eligible domestic households in Karnataka under the Gruha Jyothi scheme, came to a shocker to citizens as the tariff for the month of June was hiked by an average of ₹2-2.5 per unit across electricity supply companies (escoms)."
The free electricity program, the Gruha Jyoti Scheme, is comparable to the subsidized power services available in many states and territories, like Delhi. Residents of the state who reside in private residences, both owned and rented, may potentially receive their power consumption of up to 200 units for free under this program.
Users can also register for the Gruha Jyothi initiative by going to the closest Bangalore One, Grama One, or Karnataka One outlet, according to the Karnataka state government. On June 18, registration opens at these locations at 11 a.m. And in the first two days, 1,61,958 consumers have signed up.
A BESCOM employee told The Indian Express, that technical issues caused systems to collapse or respond slowly after more than one lakh users registered for the free electricity scheme in two days. Despite these positives and schemes, residents of Bangalore have been facing challenges; due to more than one lakh users registering for the free electricity scheme within two days of its opening, technical glitches caused the servers to crash temporarily or respond slowly, as per a BESCOM official.
For the monthly billings for May and June, users have raised concerns and queries regarding their respective electricity billings. As per The Times of India, residents received harmful amounts due to the delay caused by the delay in the meter regarding its legal authority and the new tariff. Moreover, for example, some consumers who usually receive a bill of Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 were handed a bill of Rs 30,000, causing a hike in the price as well as puzzlement among the consumption of the units.
BESCOM replied that there were no issues with the billing; instead, it was due to the protracted meter reading that caused the bulky billing for many consumers and the new rate charges. In line with the complaints, users were asked to contact their respective nearest subdivision or call 1912 to clarify. As per Udayavani, BESCOM plans to resolve and rectify the issue for smooth functioning in the upcoming month of July.
Karnataka, with its sources, sets out to provide a brighter future through its Gruha Jyothi Schemes that will aid its residents and taking a step towards changing not only the state but the country towards better energy sources.
Edited by Whitney Edna Ibe
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