Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh is facing an
unprecedented power crisis as a direct result of the ongoing
indefinite general strike by Telangana protagonists.
The gap between power demand and supply has widened to 50
million units (MU) per day with the demand touching a peak of
275 MU because of continued dry spell in the state.
During the corresponding period last year, the demand for
power was only 223 MU.
Consequently, heavy power cuts are being imposed across
the state with industries and agriculture being the worst hit.
While the duration of power shutdown in urban areas is
four hours, it is six hours in district headquarters and about
ten hours in rural areas.
The government-run Power Transmission Corporation of AP
has officially declared a three-day `power holiday` to
industries in the state while it is finding it difficult to
ensure seven-hour power supply to the agriculture sector even
as reports have come in from districts like Nalgonda, Ranga
Reddy and Mahbubnagar in Telangana region that crops have
started withering due to non-availability of power.
Thermal power generation at AP Power Generation
Corporation`s units in the state has now fallen to 3,000 MW as
against the installed capacity of 5,093 MW.
The strike in Singareni Collieries coal fields since
September 13 as part of the general strike in Telangana, has
reduced coal production to 36,700 tonnes per day as against
the normal 1.5 lakh tonnes. This has left the thermal power
stations dry, leading to severe shortfall in production,
according to member Secretary of AP Energy Co-ordination Cell,
A Chandrasekhar Reddy.
The National Thermal Power Corporation`s unit at
Ramagundam in Karimnagar district has been forced to shut down
one of its units, resulting in a loss of 500 MW.
The total loss of thermal power due to severe coal
deficit is around 56 MU per day (38 MU from AP Genco stations
and 18 MU from NTPC`s Ramagundam and Simhadri units).
The gas-based power stations are working to only 75 per
cent of their plant load factor and generating 36 MU, he said.
Hydel power generation that peaked to 65 MU early last
month, due to heavy inflow of flood water into major
reservoirs like Srisailam, has now come down to just 39 MU as
With the Telangana protagonists making it clear that the
indefinite general strike would continue till the central
Government conceded the demand for creation of a separate
state,the state government has decided to purchase 980 MW of
power from external sources to tide-over the crisis this
"The problem is, even if we want to buy power from the
open market, it is not readily available. Our main concern is
to ensure that required power is supplied to the agriculture
sector and save the standing Kharif crops," Chief Minister N
Kiran Kumar Reddy pointed out.
He has directed Transco officials to increase the
duration of power cuts in urban areas, if required, and supply
adequate power to the farms.
The Energy Co-ordination Cell, on the other hand, issued
an appeal to people today asking them not to use
air-conditioners to reduce power consumption and also conserve
energy through other means and "co-operate with the power
utilities to overcome the present situation."