Telangana must pick tab, experts say

Experts cautioned that power consumption could touch 190-200 million units per day.

Hyderabad: Power sector experts suggested that the state government should come to the aid of the power distribution companies even if a tariff hike is approved.

The government should help discoms by either taking over 75 per cent of the debt of discoms under the Centre’s Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana or extend financial support.

Experts cautioned that power consumption could touch 190-200 million units per day during peak Kharif season from June third week to October depending upon the rains. The power consumption currently is 141 million units.

The state government has already assured the agriculture sector of nine-hour uninterrupted power supply during the day. This will impose an additional burden of Rs 3,800 crore on the discoms. As supply to agriculture is free, this burden has to be borne by the discoms.

“This will result in the revenue gap of the two discoms jumping from Rs 8,789 crore as projected in their annual revenue requirement to Rs 12,589 crore,” a retired engineer of the power sector told this newspaper.

“Even if the tariff hike of Rs 1,958 is allowed, the actual subsidy — financial support from the government — required would be Rs 11,431 crore as against the Rs 4,470-crore budgetary allocation,” he said.

Though there would be no grants from the Centre under UDAY, it will give a three-year moratorium and longer duration repayment facility to the states which take over 75 per cent of debts of the discoms, said Mr M. Thimma Reddy, convener, People’s Monitoring Group on Electricity.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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