: Chief Minister K.Chandrasekhar Rao has, on Thursday, assured that the government will not hesitate to purchase coal required for the thermal power projects in Telangana from outside the country, if need arises.

In a review meeting conducted with top officials of power utilities, and the Principal Secretary, Energy, he reportedly expressed keen interest in buying power from Chhattisgarh, and set up a group of officials to work on this.

While making it clear that power purchase agreement must be with the government of Chhattisgarh and not private producers, he is also learnt to have ordered for construction of dedicated power lines between the two states within eight months, for evacuation of power.

Further, he asked the Telangana Genco officials to take steps on war footing to create an additional capacity of 6,000 Megawatts of power in the next 30 months, and instructed them to take up the pending thermal power project at Gadwal immediately.

Mr.Rao has reportedly deferred the decision on subsidy payable by the government to the utilities towards agricultural consumption, till the time of formation of the Telangana Electricity Regulatory Commission. Accordingly, power tariff proposals awaiting the regulatory authority’s approval will also be pending till TERC is formed.

Mr.Rao apparently displayed commendable clarity about various issues with regard to the power sector, and questioned officials about the existing capacity, the duration of existing power purchase agreements, and availability of gas and coal for projects.

He also directed the officials not to go for expensive power, and rather, try and get cheaper power. He reportedly named ITIR project as his priority, and said power is central for its completion, and generation of employment.

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