‘600 units in Autonagar and many of the micro and small units are under threat of closure’

The imposition of steep penalties on industry for drawing excess power during the peak hours has come in for severe criticism from representatives of the IT, cinema theatres, hotels and small scale industries at a media conference here on Wednesday.

They said that the decision of the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) pegging the use of power at 40 per cent between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. has thrown the industry into a crisis. It was difficult proposition to continually monitor the load and mechanism should be developed by the government to enable the industry to keep a tab on their peak hour usage and switch over to alternative modes after crossing the peak hour load.

Vice-president of the Rushikonda Information Technology Parks Association O. Naresh Kumar said that the distribution and transmission losses in AP Eastern Power Distribution Company were the lowest among all power distribution companies in the State. Instead of taking steps to reduce the losses in the other distribution companies, the power allocation for Visakhapatnam region was reduced.

President of Visakha Autonagar Small-scale Industrialists’ Welfare Association N. Ramakrishna said there were 600 units in Autonagar and many of the micro and small units were under threat of closure.

The power crisis was coming in the way of execution of orders from public sector undertakings. To add insult to injury, penalties were being imposed for drawing more power during the peak hours.

Closure threat

K. M. Rao, Prashant and P.C. Rau from the hospitality industry expressed the fear that hotels would have to close down if they were forced to run on generators for long hours.

While the hotel management and staff could restrict power usage during the peak hours, there was no way to curb usage by guests coming from different parts of the country as also international guests.

J.M.M. Choudhary and K. Vamsi Kishore, representing the film chamber, said that the film exhibitors were paying huge amounts in the form of entertainment tax to the government but they were now being penalised for drawing excess power during the peak hours.

Secretary of Vizagapatam Chamber of Commerce and Industry V. Narayana Rao, Managing Director of Sravan Shipping G. Sambasiva Rao and President of Rushikonda IT Parks' Association Vishnu Kumar Raju spoke.

Many of the industrialists pleaded with the government to buy power from independent power producers and supply them, even at an additional cost, and they said they would not mind paying Rs.8 per unit as against the present rate of Rs.5 per unit.

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