Post bifurcation, the extra high-tension power lines between Telangana and successor Andhra Pradesh could become either wires of war or channels of coordination. Despite popular perceptions, Telangana will not be plunged into darkness as the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 divides power plants based on their geographical location and states that the existing ‘Power Purchase Agreements’ with the respective the discoms will continue after bifurcation, for both existing and under-construction projects.
While the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh had four discoms — APCPDCL, APNPDCL, APSPDCL, and APEPDCL — only two serve Telangana. Two districts, Anantapur and Kurnool, which were part of central discom, will be added to the southern discom after division, and the subsequent reallotment of power has already been made through a recent government order. Accordingly, Telangana will get nearly 54 per cent and successor Andhra Pradesh will get 46 per cent from each project. Power from central projects will be shared in the 51:49 ratio.
That said, the shortfall in power will be inherited by Telangana. Though the total installed capacity of the Andhra Pradesh power grid stands at 16,679 megawatts, the actual generation is only between 9,000 MW and 10,500 MW, largely due to a lack of gas linkages. Of this, Telangana will get about 4,500 MW to 5,000 MW. The need in the next five years could go up to 11,000 MW, which can be met only through new projects.
Issues of inter-State transmission, experts say, will set the context for coordination between the States. “As the inter-State energy flows will attract huge transmission charges payable to PGCIL, the only solution for the State governments is to jointly represent to the Central government. Alternatively, they can arrive at some arrangement so the power produced can be used up in the respective States,” said K. Raghu, Coordinator of the Telangana Electricity Employees’ JAC.