Special Correspondent

Step to ensure 7-hour supply to farmers

  • Power cut in towns increased from four to six hours daily
  • Likely to continue until October-end
  • Demand for power touches 180 mu a day

    HYDERABAD: Faced with continued protests by farmers, the Government on Tuesday announced a power cut on industries in order to ensure seven-hour supply to agricultural pumpsets.

    The duration of the cut for domestic consumers in all the towns has been enhanced from four to six hours a day. The ordeal for all categories of consumers is likely to continue up to October-end when kharif comes to a close.

    Energy Minister Mohd Ali Shabbir and AP Transco CMD Rachel Chatterjee admitted that there were a galore of complaints by farmers about irregular supply and asserted that "normalcy would be restored in a couple of days." The demand touched 180 mu a day, an all-time high in the history of the State, resulting in a shortage of 23 mu.

    Speaking to reporters after a review of the situation by Chief Minister Y. S. Rajaskehara Reddy on Tuesday, they said cut on industries would be imposed at 11/33 KV level "to the extent required." As an immediate way out to reduce the shortage, the Chief Minister ordered the Transco to purchase 6 million units per day from private plants in West Bengal, Orissa, Kerala and Karnataka which would cost Rs 3.2 crores a day, in addition to 12 mu being overdrawn from Central stations at a cost of Rs. 8 crores a day. He gave the green signal to increase generation at Srisailam by 3 mu daily by releasing an additional 6,000 cusecs of water.

    Mr Shabbir said the tariff payable for both for overdrawal and purchase from outside sources was Rs 5 per unit. The Government would reimburse this cost as Transco was not permitted to spend beyond the stipulations of the APERC.