Power demand up in Telangana, farmers face cuts
Deccan Chronicle.| L Venkat Ram Reddy
On Tuesday, unrestricted demand for power in the state climbed to 14,160 megawatts (MW), a new record for Telangana
Consumption of electricity in Telangana is increasing with each passing day, with consumers setting new records of power usage daily. (Representational Photo:PTI)
HYDERABAD: With soaring demand for power, top officials from TS Genco, TS Transco and the Discoms attended a meeting at the Chief Minister’s Office on Tuesday to review the power supply situation in the state.
Consumption of electricity in Telangana is increasing with each passing day, with consumers setting new records of power usage daily. On Tuesday, unrestricted demand for power in the state climbed to 14,160 megawatts (MW), a new record for Telangana, breaking Monday’s record consumption of 13,857 megawatts. This year, the first power consumption record was broken on March 26 when peak consumption hit 13,742 megawatts.
Officials now expect that power consumption in the state could shoot past the 15,000 MW in a single day soon, adding that they were geared up for supplying up to 16,000 MW of electricity without any difficulty.
Meanwhile, power officials started imposing "unofficial power cuts" on the agriculture sector to meet increased power demand for domestic, commercial and industrial sectors.
Complaints are pouring in from farmers in all districts about unofficial power cuts. Farmers complain of receiving only nine hours of power supply during daytime since March 26 against 24x7 power supply being provided since January 2018.
With this, farmers are concerned about losing rabi crops. They say at least 15 hours of power supply is needed to save rabi crops in summer as they are totally dependent on bore-wells for irrigation.
Moreover, paddy crop was sown in 35 lakh acres in ongoing rabi season in the state despite the state government asking farmers not to sow paddy in rabi and opt for alternate crops. Paddy crop requires huge water. As the paddy crop reached harvesting stage, there is an increased demand for power. Farmers fear paddy crops drying in the fields due to power cuts.
Farmers are already a worried lot with no clarity on paddy procurement for MSP in rabi with both the state government and the Centre having been engaged in a row on this issue since November last. Now, the power cuts have added to their woes.
However, the higher officials of TS Transco remain tight-lipped on the issue. The Transco officials in districts claim that they are imposing power cuts to agriculture on the instructions of higher officials from Hyderabad.
"We have been getting WhatsApp messages from higher-ups at 5 pm every day since March 26 asking us to impose power cuts to agriculture at night. Power is supplied from 8 am to 5 pm. Power cuts are imposed from 5 pm to 8 am. We are being informed that there is unprecedented demand for power from domestic, commercial and industrial sectors and to meet this demand, restricting power supply to agriculture is a must," a Transco official in Nirmal district said.
Farmers in undivided Nizamabad, Medak, Nalgonda, Mahbubnagar, Adilabad, Karimnagar, Khammam and Warangal districts are facing hardships due to power cuts. If power cuts are unavoidable, the farmers want power supply at night instead of daytime.
"Due to higher temperatures, it's difficult to operate motors during daytime. The heat conditions are damaging motors, wires and electrical equipment. It's better if they supply power at night," said A. Nagaraju, a farmer in Karimnagar district.