My dream comes true with no tariff hike: N Chandrababu Naidu
VIJAYAWADA: Claiming the progress achieved in the power sector in the newly bifurcated state in just four years was ‘historic’ and ‘extraordinary’, AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said that his dream of providing uninterrupted quality power without increasing tariff rates had come true.
He appreciated the pro-consumer step of the AP State Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) in not increasing the power tariff for 2019-20, thus benefitting around 1.74 crore power consumers, in addition to giving minor financial benefit to around 40 to 45 lakhs consumers. He also asked power sector officials to work out a plan to extend the same ‘stable power tariff and stable power supply’ policy to industries in the ensuing years.
Addressing a teleconference, Mr Naidu described the progress in the power sector as one of the biggest achievements of his government. “No one could imagine that a new state, which was bifurcated without a capital city and with a deficit budget of '16,000 crore, could achieve this grand success. I can say this is unusual and unprecedented. Our government even reduced the peak time “Time of Day charges” (ToD) for industry and reduced charges to agro based industries and others,” he said.
Stating he was very happy to extend free power to most backward classes (MBC), dhobi ghats, laundries, goldsmiths, saloons, SC/ST categories, sugarcane crushing units and rural horticulture nurseries etc, the CM said that no state in India was implementing welfare schemes in such a big way. He added that the AP power sector had become a role model for the entire country.
Recalling the crisis in the power sector before 2014, Mr Naidu said a power deficit of 22 MU was plaguing the State immediately after the bifurcation. The then government gave power holidays which resulted in the closure of hundreds of industries and consequently, lakhs of people lost employment, he said adding that the lives of lots of people were disturbed. “As soon as I became CM, I introduced the second phase of reforms only with the ultimate target of reducing power tariffs and strengthening the power sector,” he said.
Instead of increasing power charges, the government focused on enhancing renewable energy generation, strengthening the transmission and distribution (T&D) network to bring down losses to single digits, implementation of energy efficiency measures, adopting energy storage and other sophisticated technologies in thermal power generation and transmission. “The power sector has been strengthened with these measures and we helped to provide 24x7 power within 100 days after I came to power and free power was given to farmers,” Mr Naidu claimed.
Minister for Energy, K Kala Venkat Rao, Principal secretary for Energy, I&I and APCRDA Ajay Jain, Principal secretary for IT K Vijayanand and other officials participated in the teleconference.