Bhatti says power utilities are in dire straits with debts of ₹81,516 crore

Deputy Chief Minister presents a White Paper on Power Sector in the Assembly

December 21, 2023 09:55 pm | Updated 09:55 pm IST - Hyderabad

Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka.

Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka. | Photo Credit: GIRI KVS

The government tabled a White Paper on the financial health of the power sector in Telangana revealing that the electricity distribution companies (Discoms) had debts of ₹81,516 crore and the accumulated losses of Discoms increasing to ₹62,461 crore as on October 31 this year.

Deputy Chief Minister Bhatti Vikramarka, who also holds the Power department tabled the White Paper, said that out of the total debt, ₹30,406 crore was borrowed as working capital to pay charges to the electricity generators. Apart from this, the Discoms have to pay ₹28,673 crore as generation and transmission charges.

Mr. Bhatti Vikramarka said the Discoms were pushed into debt with the government departments defaulting to the tune of ₹ 28,842 crore and the Discoms were facing difficulty to purchase power. The amount due from the lift irrigation projects was to the tune of ₹14,193 crore. The government government defaulting on payment towards committed true-up charges of ₹ 14,928 crore has increased the problems of the Discoms.

Stating that the Discoms are in a debt trap due to the previous BRS government’s failure to clear its dues and honour its commitments to the sector, he said the situation was so bad that the Discoms were forced to borrow on continuous basis to supply power without any interruption. Situation is that the debt is now unsustainable and the scope for continued funding for the purchase of power through loans was limited.

Revealing the generation capacity, the Deputy Chief Minister said that at the time of Telangana formation the installed generation capacity of TSGENCO was 4365.26 MW. During the bifurcation 2,960 MW of power was conceived and the projects were commissioned after Telangana came into being.

He said the power situation in the newly formed Telangana was stable with the State getting an additional 1,800 MW beyond its installed capacity due to the special provisions in the A.P. Reorganisation Act. This enabled smooth power supply despite the BRS government’s failures, he argued.

The BRS government, he said, also mismanaged in the installation of new power plants. The 1080 MW Bhadradri Thermal Power Station (BTPS) was planned with sub-critical technology and was envisaged to be completed in two years at a cost of ₹6.75 crore per MW. However, the cost escalated to ₹9.74 crore per MW with the project construction stretching to seven years. The Yadadri project started with a zero date on June 1, 2015 with the estimated cost of ₹25,099 crore. But due to the delay the project cost has increased to ₹ 34,543 crore.

He said the installed power generation capacity was 7,778 MW in 2014 and by December 2023 it increased to 19,475 MW of which 6,123 MW was from the solar power projects.

Mr. Bhatti Vikramarka said that despite the legacy of financial imprudence, the present government is committed to providing quality and reliable power to the people by overcoming the challenges through a responsible and transparent approach.

State of disarray
Discoms debts ₹81,516 crore
Discoms accumulated losses ₹62,461 crore as on October 31
Working capital borrowings ₹30,406 crore
Generation and Transmission charges ₹28,673 crore
Government department defaults ₹28,842 crore
Dues from lift Irrigation projects ₹14,193 crore
Installed power generation capacity in 2014 — 7,778 MW
Present installed capacity — 19,475 MW
Solar power — 6,123 MW
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