Special Correspondent

Being implemented at a cost of Rs. 1.18 crore, the schemes need 21,484 million units of power

Plan to complete majority of the 31 lift projects during this fiscal and remaining by 2014

If capacity addition is not made, existing power plants may have to be used to operate schemes

HYDERABAD: The 31 huge lift irrigation schemes taken up by the government as part of Jalayagnam are likely to cause a precarious situation in the power sector.

These schemes, being implemented at a whopping cost of Rs. 1.18 lakh crore, require 21,484 million units of power for operation. And, they have to be run for 120 days during the crop season to provide water to 62 lakh acres.

The power requirement corresponds to an installed capacity of 8,682 MW which is more than a half of the State's exiting total installed capacity from all sources--14,121 MW. Unless new projects are taken up and commissioned, the requirement of these lift schemes will cut into the capacity.

Enquiries with officials revealed that the government has finalised a schedule to complete a majority of these 31 projects during this fiscal and the remaining by 2014 to provide full or partial benefit of water to farmers. But, will they get the power they require? The answer may be negative as the government will be able to add hardly 2,000-3,000 MW to the grid by then.

If adequate capacity addition is not made, the AP Transco and distribution companies will have to use the existing power plants to operate these lifts at the cost of consumers other than farmers. A precarious situation will unfold wherein drastic power cuts will continue.

New projects

AP Genco has taken up an ambitious programme to set up new power projects at a cost of Rs. 85,000 crore to add 16,122 MW to the grid, but officials say these will be completed only after 2014 except the ones at Bhoopalapalli, Kothagudem, Muddanur and Jurala.

Telangana has a lion's share out of 16 lift schemes, including Alisagar, Guthpa, Devadula, AMR Canal, Kalwakurthy, Bhima, Dummagudem, Pranahita-Chevella, Yellampallii. As estimated, they will account for 7,193 MW out of 8,682 MW assessed as the requirement of the lift schemes.