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Parties gear up to fight proposal to raise power tariff

Special Correspondent
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Powerless:Activists of Left parties staging a demonstration opposing the move to hike electricity charges in Vijayawada on Saturday.— Photo: V. Raju
Powerless:Activists of Left parties staging a demonstration opposing the move to hike electricity charges in Vijayawada on Saturday.— Photo: V. Raju

Political parties in the State are gearing up to launch agitation against the Congress Government’s decision to effect a steep hike in power tariff which they described a “back-breaking burden on the common man”.

Already, parties are into an agitation mode demanding seven-hour supply to farm sector as it suffered losses on account of inadequate power supply in the kharif season. YSR Congress activists staged dharna on the Raichur-Mahbubnagar road disrupting traffic while Congress MP Ponnam Prabhakar led the protest in Karimnagar.

The parties’ condemned power utilities for “attempts to cover up their failure” in taking measures to avert power crisis and instead proposing tariff hikes.

Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu, now on a padayatra in Warangal district, flayed the Government for not keeping its promise of providing seven-hour supply. TDP’s Nellore district leaders staged a dharna at the busy Gandhi Bomma circle in protest against the proposed hike.

CPI (M) activists burnt an effigy in Kadapa in protest against the proposed hike even as party State secretary B.V. Raghavulu said the tariff hikes proposed by the utilities were unparalleled in the country. The Kiran Kumar Reddy Government levied surcharge burden of Rs. 26,000 crore in the past two years and was planning to increase the tariff yet again.

CPI State secretary K. Narayana alleged that the Government was encouraging private power producers in the name of merchant power policy at the expense of the State-owned utilities. This was evident from the fact that the Government had permitted the gas-based power plants to generate and sell power to industry charging an exorbitant Rs. 9 and above per unit.

The APERC was playing into the hands of corporate companies who were into power generation, alleged senior TRS leader T. Harish Rao. The YSRC alleged that the Government, having mopped up significant revenue in the name of FSA, was now trying to impose another major burden.


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