The State government was at the receiving end in the Assembly on Thursday when the entire Opposition came down heavily on it for its failure to provide nine hours free power supply to farmers.

Accusing the Congress government of reneging on its election promise, the Opposition parties demanded a specific assurance about the deadline for supplying power for nine hours.

This issue figured during the Question Hour when the Government was forced into a corner as an agitated Opposition accused it making false promises to the people.

Finance Minister K. Rosaiah's assertion that the Government was committed to supplying nine hours' supply once the Vijayawada Thermal Power Station's new 500 MW unit was synchronized did not satisfy the Opposition.

It was left to Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy to intervene and give a lengthy explanation about the Government's initiative to improve the capacity of the existing and new power projects. He asserted that the Government would not go back on its promise to the farmers.

Nevertheless, he noted that in the next four years, 13,000 MW additional power would be added to the installed capacity which would go a long way in easing the power situation in the State.

Dr. Reddy also allayed the fears of the Opposition parties that the State would be pushed to bankruptcy if the subsidy on free power continued. He said 8,800 MW required to operate the 31 lift irrigation projects would also be met from the additional capacity. He pointed out that once the new units were commissioned, the State would be in a position to sell power and raise additional revenues for the State exchequer.