Telangana's power utilities drowning in debt, losses: Konda Vishweshwar Reddy

HYDERABAD: Telangana’s power sector utilities are groaning under heavy debt and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao must explain where the money to pay for free power to farmers is coming from, BJP senior leader and former MP Konda Vishweshwar Reddy said on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference, he said the two power distribution companies in Telangana had piled up losses of Rs 45,000 crore, compared to Rs 2,281 crore in 2014 before Rao became Chief Minister. The CM’s claims about the power supply situation were nothing to shout about from the rooftops, Vishweshwar Reddy said, adding that across the country there was enough electricity for all states.

Asking how much electricity is used by Pragathi Bhavan, the Chief Minister’s official residence, that also has “air-conditioned rooms for husky dogs,” Vishweshwar Reddy said every asset of the discoms, including transformers, sub-stations, and electricity poles, had either been hypothecated or pledged as collaterals for loans.

The BJP leader said the state government was providing free power to farmers not because of Chandrashekar Rao, but because funds in the form of loans to the utilities came from Central agencies such as Power Finance Corporation, or banks owned by the government of India.

Vishweshwar Reddy said that the state’s power utilities had been given a Minus-C grade, which meant they could not get any more loans. The state government had written to the Power Finance Corporation to reduce the interest rate on loans it gave to the state.

He said that a probe was needed on how the state bought sub-critical turbines from the BHEL for the Kothagudem Thermal Power Station after the India Bulls company, which went under, said it cannot set up a power plant. “I think they (India Bulls) went to KCR, so he bought the old turbines. We will be filing RTIs on all the power related issues,” he said.

Heavy burden

The BJP set out a list of figures relating to the power department

Government department dues to discoms:

Irrigation: Rs 9,868.21 cr

Panchayat raj: Rs 3,353 cr

Municipalities: Rs 1,502 cr

HMWW&SB: Rs 2857.65 cr.

What power utilities owe

Transco & Genco: Rs 7,600 cr to Singareni Collieries

Discoms: Rs 12,000 cr to REC, PFC, central banks

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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