Kerala govt calls off load shedding plans for now

The surcharge goes up to 20 paise next month while adding the 10 paise the Board can collect at its own discretion. Representative image: Josekutty Panackal/Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: Days after hinting at plans to implement load shedding in Kerala, the state government declared that no such action will be taken for the time being. The decision regarding this was taken in a meeting convened by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here on Friday. 

The official sources hinted that a high-level meeting is scheduled for September 4 to analyse the power crisis in the state. A final decision on imposing regulations on power consumption will be taken in this review meeting.

While addressing the meeting on Friday, the Chief Minister directed the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to implement the smart metre project in a consumer-friendly way.

In the new smart metre project, KSEB is planning to develop software for billing and related services. KSEB will depend on the fibre optic cable network for communication and its data centre for data storage. KSEB employees themselves will start installing smart metre.

As depending on hydroelectric projects will not be feasible amid the deficient rainfall, the Chief Minister directed the officials to envisage a perfect plan to solve the power shortage.

A few weeks ago, electricity minister K Krishnankutty acknowledged that the state is reeling under a severe power crisis. He pointed out that insufficient rainfall and rising power consumption have pushed the state into its current situation.

The minister said the government will have to impose usage restrictions, including load shedding (managed power outage) and a hike in power tariff, to bring the situation under control.

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