Though reduction in load reliefs was announced under political pressure, the AP Transco has failed to keep the promise

Within two days after the grandiose announcement by the Finance Minister A. Ramnarayan Reddy, of reducing load reliefs in the city from three hours to one hour per day, the power cuts have returned with more ferocity.

Far from experiencing the much-awaited reprieve from outages, all localities in the city are now going through the most harrowing period of this summer so far.

The present power cuts have no fixed duration like earlier, and range anywhere between two hours and four hours per day. That the outages are unscheduled, and out of the blue, is one more issue that irks not only the consumers, but even the officials of the Central Discom, who blame AP Transco for the entire fiasco.

“We are absolutely clueless about the schedules. Power cuts are being administered at 132KV level, and we are not receiving the schedules even a day earlier. But consumers call us during power cut, and we are left without any answer. Friday being a festival day, we received hundreds of calls from agitated consumers across the division,” lamented a Divisional Engineer from CPDCL.

Usually, it is the CPDCL which manages the loads at 33KV substation level, to make them uniform on the grid at any single point of time. The loads are centrally monitored from the Load Monitoring and Restriction Cell, and any unforeseen deviation in either power supply or distribution is checked by tripping some feeders, which happens only in emergency situations.

With the loads mostly in its control, the CPDCL usually plans the outages, and disseminates the information by sending across the schedules. However, Discom officials now dissociate themselves from the whole mess created by the announcement of reduced power cuts, and the ignominy of failing to keep the promise.

It is the decision by AP Transco to first reduce the duration of scheduled power cuts, and then revert to the arbitrary durations with no schedules, they say.

“Transco buckled under the political pressure and announced the reduced durations. The CPDCL has indicated very clearly that such drastic reduction is not advisable, but our view was not considered,” another Divisional Engineer of CPDCL informed. Though there has been a breakdown in generation, it could have been managed by distributing loads efficiently.

The load monitoring at transmission level is in utter chaos, as the State Load Dispatch Centre (SLDC) of AP Transco has neither information, nor control over the loads emanating from different sectors Discom-wise, he says. Hence, issue of power-cut schedules is not possible.

More In: Hyderabad