Vijayawada: Stating that the Government would definitely say “no” to costly power hereafter, minister for energy, Mr Balineni Srinivasa Reddy said that the Chief Minister Mr Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had categorically directed officials to take stringent steps to plug loopholes and revamp the existing system in AP power sector to make it more transparent and accountable to protect the interests of people and provide cost effective power. The Chief Minister had also directed the Energy Department to make 9-hour free power supply to the farming sector compulsory during day time and as a permanent phenomenon as the Government had accorded top priority to the agriculture sector and farmers’ welfare.
During the brief interaction with officials of the Energy Department over the phone, minister for Energy said that the CM had stressed the need for cost effective power. “Say no to costly power. The need to cut costs in the power sector is urgent and acute. I will not allow any extravagant spending of public money. Low cost power should be given the highest priority. Work out effective strategies and formulate a strong mechanism to achieve this target. The increasing demand in the State should be primarily met by the generation capacities of APGenco. Plug the loopholes in power purchasing and ensure transparency and accountability at all levels. No one can question our integrity in future,” the Chief Minister had said.
Stating that the 9-hour free power supply during the day, would give a boost to the crisis ridden agriculture sector, the Chief Minister said the government would bear Rs 2,780 crore-Rs 1,700 crore for additional infrastructure and Rs 1,080 crore for 10 months i.e from June-19 to March-20 for power supply for expenditure of 9-hour power. “Credibility is my greatest asset. I am committed to fulfil my every promise (Navaratnalu) made to the people. Giving 9-hour free power supply during daytime is only one of the primary steps towards this direction,” he said.
Mr Balineni Srinivasa Reddy said 60 per cent of agriculture feeders had already being provided 9-hour power supply successfully during daytime for which the farmers were happy. The necessary infrastructure for the remaining 40 per cent of the feeders would be provided in a phased manner by March 31, 2020 in APSPDCL region (2,214 feeders) and December 31, 2019 (595 feeders) in APEPDCL region.
The energy minister further said that the Chief Minister gave instructions to involve the farmer community and take their feedback on the 9-hour power supply for effective implementation of the scheme. “The Chief Minister is working with an objective to make the power sector as the people’s sector by providing them low cost, quality and uninterrupted power,” the minister said.
Demand to go up to 15,015MW
Energy secretary Mr N. Srikanth said that the Energy Department was preparing a time-bound action plan which will be submitted to the Chief Minister on achieving cost effective 24x7 uninterrupted power supply, strengthening of APGenco, reducing transmission and distribution losses, increasing power generation capacity, effective public participation and availing maximum benefits from Central government schemes like Uday, DDUGJY, IPDS etc.
The energy demand trend in the State was around 10,995 MW which is expected to increase to around 15,015 MW by 2023-24. The per capita consumption of Andhra Pradesh is 1,147 kWh as against a national average of 1,149 kWh. The anticipated energy demand in the State for 2019-20 is around 69,000 MU.
“We are planning to meet this demand through generation capacity additions, increase of efficiency in power generation, transmission and distribution and getting power at cheaper rates if necessary,” he said.
The managing director APGenco Mr B. Sridhar informed that the focus would be on completion of Genco power projects as per schedule and providing quality power with zero interruptions would be the ultimate task. APGenco is taking steps to complete the thermal projects of NTTPS (Narla Tatarao thermal power station) Stage-V (800 MW) and SDSTPS (Sri Damodara Sanjeevaiah thermal power station) Krishnapatnam (800 MW) in the next six months.