Power cut enhanced to peak summer levels in State
AP Transco and the four distribution companies have enhanced duration of the power cut to peak summer levels all over the State with effect from Tuesday, causing further resentment among domestic consumers, farmers and industrialists.
The power cut in Hyderabad, Tirupati, Visakhapatnam and Warangal will now be for three hours (one hour so far) -- 90 minutes each in the morning and evening. Similarly, the supply will be off for five hours for district headquarters/ municipal corporation cities; six hours for towns/ municipalities/ mandal headquarters.
Rural areas will have to forgo supply throughout the day except where their feeders are connected to agriculture pumpsets which, however, are ensured a seven-hour supply in a desperate bid to save crops. The supply will be ensured to these areas for lighting only from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. In fact, in some districts, there is a blackout in villages except for a spell during nights.
The present scenario is the cumulative result of the deepened power sector crisis, with the overall unrestricted demand reaching 295 million units per day as against 208 mu of total availability even with 29 mu purchases -- a gap of 87 mu. In a release, the Transco, however, put the shortage at 67 mu, assessing it based on the restricted demand (275 mu).
The utility attributed the shortage to poor generation 6 mu per day by hydel stations (36 mu last year), curtailed gas supply to gas-based projects, steep increase in agriculture load and non-availability of transmission corridor due to which more power could not bought.
The present predicament is partly due to lack of efforts to expedite new power projects and get adequate gas. Despite the storages in Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar being 32 ft and 11 ft above the minimum levels required to run their hydel stations, power cannot be generated following the High Court’s orders not to release water from them unless they were full up to 834 ft and 510 ft respectively.
The Government has not filed an appeal against the High Court’s order so far. As these stations (2,575 MW) utilise the same quantity of water by way of recycling, the State would have obtained 50 mu straightway every day.