ANDHRA PRADESH

Transco plans go awry

HYDERABAD Nov 6. The Irrigation Department's decision not to allow power generation from Nagarjunasagar project till the end of rabi appears to have landed the Transmission Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (APTransco) in a piquant situation.

The APTransco which expected power generation to the tune of 6,757 million units from hydel sources is now projecting the hydel generation only at 2,900 MU, a deficit of 3,857 MU, by the end of March next year. According to the projections, there is likely to be shortfall of 377 MU in November, 176 MU in December, 290 MU in January, 250 MU in February and 175 MU in March.

The demand from agriculture sector, at the same time, is likely to be 11,773 MU as against the projected target of 11,350 MU, an increase of 423 MU by the end of rabi.

This would mean that the corporation would have to go in for power purchases from other states to overcome the shortfall or impose cuts on some sections of consumers to save the standing crop by ensuring power supply. In view of this, the corporation has now embarked upon a campaign to educate farmers about taking up irrigated dry crops during rabi instead of water intensive crops like paddy. "If the farmers restrain themselves, we can manage the situation. The problems will start only if they go in for water intensive crops," senior officials said.

According to the Transco officials connected with grid operations, the corporation would be left with no other options, but for going in for power purchase from other States. However, the situation appears to be not so favourable on this count too as several States were facing power shortages. "Power is one such commodity which cannot be stored and when there is no supply, we cannot create it. The best we can do to save the crops is to impose cuts on the industrial and commercial sectors to meet the demand. But that is again a decision which has to be taken by the Government," a senior official told The Hindu.