State draws flak for ‘improper planning'
The power holiday declared by APEPDCL has hit industrial production hard --particularly in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).
Industrialists, who say imposing power holiday has become a regular feature for APEPDCL, say that this exposed lack of planning on the part of the government. The Discoms should have kept in place a contingency plan for implementation whenever the demand-supply gap widened.
“The sudden imposition of three-day power holiday has come as a high voltage shock administered by APEPDCL to the industries particularly SSI sector. This is contrary to the assurance given by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy to us on April 14, reducing the power holiday duration at that time to just one day and without any peak hour restrictions on the use of machinery load,” said Ramakrishna Narappareddy, president, Visakha Autonagar Small Scale Industrialists Welfare Association.
He said there was no justification for sudden imposition of power cuts under the pretext of increase in demand and drastic fall in power generation. It showed their total lack of planning and casual manner in facing the power shortage. Anticipating such a problem, they should have purchased power from the private producers and assured sufficient coal reserves for the thermal plants to function well in advance to effect normal supply to the priority sectors like industries, commercial and domestic consumers.
Symbiosys Technologies CEO Naresh Kumar said APEPDCL had the distinction of being the highest revenue earner but it was being meted out a raw deal by the government while allocation of power to various Discoms.
“Our Discom was a profit-making commercial organisation even before the rates were increased. It was making crores of rupees profit even at old rates. Now the rates have been hiked all over the State and even in Vizag where it is not needed. Our losses at six per cent are the lowest in the country. We have received national awards. Other Discom losses are in excess of 16 per cent. Still power supply is not reliable here,” he regretted.
The State average losses are 16 per cent. This means if other Discoms are as efficient as APEPDCL, their losses would have been pegged at six per cent. “By doing so we could have saved 7,800 million units worth Rs.3,000 crore. The present situation is due to carelessness and sheer negligence,” he remarked.