As the rains fail, the weather goes dry and power failure becomes frequent, protests are breaking out in many parts of the State.
The vexed issue of energy crisis leading to long hours of power outage is slowly slipping into a law and order situation as incidents of people venting their anger on electricity offices are increasing.
The recent protest in Patancheru of Medak district saw hundreds barge into the power station and hold up officials for the 24 hour power holiday declared in the industrial district. “You (officials) are scoundrels. You misuse power,” was heard in the din. “People are identifying officials as the cause of the trouble.” lamented an electricity engineer.
On Sunday, agencies recorded over half a dozen incidents involving workers venting their ire over local substations and authorities.
The TDP has taken up the issue. The party chief has exhorted to highlight the situation and fallout of it on agriculture.Senior TDP leader M Venkateshwara Rao said, “I doubt if the CM has reviewed the situation in the past three months. All the protests raised about the gas basin issue forced him to visit the Centre and that is all. Given the huge losses that farmers are incurring, I will not surprised if the agitation turns violent.
”The TDP has planned a massive State-wide agitation in almost all districts from today. Substations and Transco offices will be nerve centres.
On Sunday, APTransco recorded a drawal of 207.882 MU as against the demand of 270 MU. The deficit 63 MU has forced the State to reel backwards from power deficit as industries are on the verge of a lockdown.
According to C Rama Rao, grid operations director, the City is being supplied by an additional 1,300 MW of power directed from sources including private discoms. “We are not trying to overdraw as it may result in the collapse of the entire grid,” he explained. situation grim
It is not only the agriculture sector, the industrial situation is pretty bad. In the past few weeks, there have been a flurry of meetings with the State government, the AP Transco and the FAPCCI, meeting to find a solution. As of now, there are 6,00,000 temporary employees engaged in industrial units who run the risk of being jobless if the crisis is not averted.
Secretary general of FAPCCI M Rajeshwara Rao said, “The current energy deficit is 65 MU but for a full profitable functioning of the industrial sector, it requires 80 to 85 MU of power. Now with the load relief schedules and power holidays, there is about a 60 per cent loss in production value every day. If we estimate the value of one full day of power loss it equates to Rs.1,000 crore. As of now, we are working at a loss of 70 to 75 per cent of our generation capacity which is rough Rs.700 crore loss.”
Many industrial units within the City currently function at 50 per cent of their total capacity, which in a week would mean an average loss of Rs.3,500 crore. “If you estimate the losses since the beginning of the power holiday schedules, the last two months have drained at least Rs.20,000 crore,” Rajeshwara Rao says.
The numbers are set to increase if the generation capacity is not raised. While the load reliefs have seeped into the Kharif season, priority of power supply has been given to the agricultural sector. Here too, it has been inconsistent. While private Discoms have been approached and 700MW of power has been bought through bidding. They say that they are ready to abide by the increased tariffs. But they grunt that welfare is not promising free power but actually generating power.
TRS storms APTransco
Aminor scuffle ensued when TRS MLAs and other leaders were detained this morning when they tried to carry out a protest march at the APTransco office in Khairatabad. They were demanding a 7-hour uninterrupted power supply to farmers.
Led by TRS leader Harish Rao and Eetala Rajendra, a dozen or so MLAs and MLCs tried to meet the APTransco. They said the government was meting out step-motherly treatment to farmers while it supplied uninterrupted power to malls and businesses. The T leaders denounced what they called the ‘naked favouritism” shown in load shedding where the Seemandhra region has only four hour power cuts but the Telangana region deals with six hours.
Protests so far
- Farmers stormed the substation in Sirivel village in Kurnool district demanding a seven-hour power supply.
- Sub-station was locked with its officials inside as workers and farmers from Tirumalgiri and Miryalagudem in Nalgonda district agitated against irregular power supply.
- Narketpalli – Addanki highways witnessed rasta rokos by farmers.
- Mirdoddi mandal workers and Patancheru industrialists agitated against the growing power cuts.
- TDP launches a two-day State-wide protest against power crisis today.
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