Power sector to be strengthened with Centre’s help, focus on tariff control: CM Naidu

Decision soon on smart metres for agricultural pump sets

VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu has said the power sector in AP is facing a serious crisis with debts of `49,596 crore while the people have been burdened with payments of `32,166 crore.

He released a White Paper on the power sector at the Secretariat in Velagapudi on Tuesday.

The CM stated, “We will take help from the Centre to put the power sector on the right track. We will soon decide on smart meters for agricultural pump sets.”

Naidu said the White Paper explained how the previous government has “damaged” the prospects of the generations. “We have supplied quality electricity in our previous tenure. We have avoided increases in electricity charges. During 2014-19, we increased the production of solar energy and wind power. By 2018, AP became a power-surplus state. By 2018-19, we worked hard to reach 14,929 mw of electricity generation.”

“During our tenure, Transco and Genco received awards. In the last five years, people have been burdened with charges of `32,166 crore. Debts of `49,596 crore have been incurred in the power sector.”

Naidu said, “The last government collected charges from the people in various ways such as true-up, fuel surcharge and electricity duty. Charges have been increased by 45 per cent on domestic consumers, which troubled 1.53 crore people. Hundred per cent charges were increased on the poor, who used 50 units.”

A sum of `16,699 crore was collected through tariff, `5,886 crore through true up, `3,977 crore from fuel charges and `5,607 crore from electricity duty. The state took a loan of thousands of crores and put a heavy burden on the power sector. In the lst five years, the debt of power companies has increased by 79 per cent.”

Sometimes, the decisions taken to stop the production also burdened the people, the CM said.

“With court order, maintenance charges of `9,000 crore have been paid. Some 21 contracts in wind power have been cancelled. The power sector lost `47,741 crore due to inefficient governance. In the power sector, there was a loss of `1,29,503 crore to the people and the government.”

The Chief Minister asserted, “We will put the power sector on the right track. EV vehicles will increase in future and hence electricity production should be increased. Let's focus on tariff control. We will take the help of the Centre to put the power sector on track. We will soon decide on smart meters for agricultural pump sets.”

Naidu said many organisations are coming forward to convert thermal electricity into green hydrogen. “If we get green hydrogen, we will get additional taxes. Steps will be taken to increase the production of rooftop solar energy.”

The committee will decide on the dues of electricity from Telangana, he said.

“Steps will be taken to reduce losses in power supply. We will take technical assistance to strengthen the power sector.”

He said, “Due to the wrong styles of the previous government, an additional burden of `4,773 crore was put on the government in relation to the Polavaram project alone. Due to the purchase of 7,000 megawatts from the Solar Energy Corporation, additional payments of `3,850 crore to `4,350 crore had to be made for the transmission process.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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