Narendra Modi’s Gift To Andhra Pradesh ‘24-Hour Power Supply’
The energy department has asked the Andhra Pradesh Transmission Company (APTransco) to prepare a report on the day-to-day power usage estimates in the state for a year based on the previous years’ consumption pattern
Though the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh is feeling injustice was done to it in many areas during bifurcation of the state by leaving vast resources, revenues and avenues for Telangana state, at least with regard to power availability, it seems to have come as a blessing in disguise.
With steep fall in power demand, the state is now eying to come out from all power shortage problems. Besides, the Narendra Modi government selected the state, along with Rajasthan and Delhi for implementation of pilot project ‘24-hour power supply’ on an experimental basis. It would likely to be a boon for rapid progress of the state.
This was personally announced by union power minister Piyush Goyal while attending Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chadnrababu Naidu’s oath-taking ceremony near Vijayawada on June 8, indicating unexpected gift to its NDA allay. The state government is currently busy doing the ground work for the power situation in the state, which would be conducive for round-the-clock power supply. If it succeeds in its efforts to convince the Centre, then AP will become the first state to have 24×7 domestic power supplies in the country when the project is implemented on a pilot basis from October 2.
During early July 2014, Andhra Pradesh fell short of about 19 million units (mu) of power as against the demand of about 149 mu per day forcing the distribution companies to implement power cuts of up to six hours in urban areas and nearly eight hours in rural pockets. However, demand fell sharply due to the monsoon-induced rain in the state over the last fortnight. The power shortfall now stands at about 1-3 million units against the demand of 135 mu.
Power distribution authorities are claiming that they are virtually now just a step away from becoming a state with 24×7 powers supply. At present, Telangana is facing the shortage of about 15 mu and AP would have been forced to implement power cuts of at least an hour or two in the united state. Even if the farmers start using motor pump sets in Kharif season, the power shortage is likely to be less than 10 mu.
With the maximum power shortage projected at less than 10 mu till summer, by which time additional power generation capacity is likely to be added, the officials are confident of bagging the 24×7 power project for the state. They feel that the Centre can easily bridge the demand-supply gap till the government commissions the 800 MW power plant at Krishnapatnam by next summer.
Capacity addition is also expected in the private sector including 1,040 MW from the Hinduja National Power Corporation Limited near Visakhapatnam. Projects worth Rs 1,901 crore are being taken up by AP Transco in EPDCL limits, including setting-up of one 400 kv category sub-station each in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and West Godavari districts. Work on a 220 kv sub-station has begun in Vizianagaram, which is yet to be started in other places.
The Energy Department has asked the Andhra Pradesh Transmission Company (APTransco) to prepare a report on the day-to-day power usage estimates in the state for a year based on the previous years’ consumption pattern.
Rapid infrastructure development
In order to provide quality and reliable power supply to all categories of consumers, the power utilities of Government of Andhra Pradesh have initiated all possible measures for rapid infrastructure development in the power sector, which will enhance the economical growth of the state. As a part of these numerous programmes, the government has suggested the power utilities to put up special efforts to expedite the implementation of Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY), High Voltage Distribution System (HVDS) and Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP) within the stipulated time.
According to Energy Department Secretary Ajay Jain both the rural and urban consumers will be given equal priority by the government/power utilities in providing quality power. That’s why Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is very particular about the successful implementation of proposed 24 X 7 PFA scheme for domestic, commercial and industrial categories apart from providing nine hours power supply to agriculture sector.
While appreciating the efforts of AP government./utilities in taking serious steps on prestigious programme of 24 X 7 PFA, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Power, B N Sharma said in his letter to Secretary, Energy, the present level of availability of power in rural areas is a cause of concern and is being discussed in all parliamentary committee meetings. In addition to this, making power available 24 X 7 is the long-cherished goal of the government. To understand the status of present level of rural supply in the country for better policy making, centre has requested AP government to share the data/information pertaining to the segregation of feeders.
The Joint Secretary also informed the government of AP, that the Ministry of Power, Government of India will fully support the urban and rural infrastructure in power sector through the schemes like RGGVY & R-APDRP etc, to ensure better services to the consumers.
In the meanwhile, APGenco MD K Vijayanand has directed the CMDs of DISCOMs to expedite the three programmes which will help in improving energy efficiency and also to avoid the disparity between rural and urban electricity consumers with regard to the infrastructure development and providing quality power.
The Centre has approved Rs. 35,447 crore for implementation of RGGVY scheme throughout the country. As part of this, AP DISCOMs have proposed for electrification of 4.28 lakh BPL rural households with necessary infrastructure in 10,756 villages with an outlay of Rs.330 crore under 12th plan. The utilities are set to implement vigorously the HVDS to 46,727 agricultural services in seven districts (Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam, Anatapur, Kurnool, Kadapa and Chittoor) at an estimated cost of around Rs.295 crore under Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funding to ensure quality power supply to farming sector and reduction in Transmission & Distribution (T&D) losses.
By Ch Narendra from Hyderabad