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CBN’s white paper blames Congress, promises to rejuvenate power sector

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Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Nara Chandrababu Naidu has informed the people that his government has released “the first white paper on power describing the errors of the past and set out details for future policy-making”.

Writing on his Facebook page, he said that a lot of the future plans of the Andhra Pradesh Government for the State’s development would “heavily rely on power, which is crucial for all growth-enabling sectors including agriculture, education, industries, infrastructure and services”. Extolling his previous stint in power, Naidu described “the 9 years from 1996 to 2004… as a golden period for the power sector with generation capacity increasing by a phenomenal 90%”. He alleged that the period between 2004-2014 saw an increase in generation capacity by a meager 56%, “a rapid downfall”.

“During our last tenure, we were able to provide 9 hours of uninterrupted, quality power to farmers. The power distribution system today is in complete chaos, owing to which, more than 7,000 people have died in accidents. Supply of transformers is not steady. All norms and standards related to supply of power were willfully ignored by the previous government. Adding to it, unreasonable division of assets and liabilities during bifurcation has created a lot of additional problems for the State,” Naidu lamented.

Below are some highlights in the white paper:

  • While the Plant Load Factor (PLF) of Thermal Power Generation Centres increased from 68.7% to 86% in the period between 1994-2004, PLF fell to 78% in the period between 2004-2014;
  • While a 30-day buffer of Coal supplies was available in thermal power generation centres in the period between 1994-2004, the coal supplies buffer period was almost zero days between 2004-2014;
  • Power deficit from 1994-2004 was brought down from 14.4% to 1.5% while it increased to a whopping 17.6% for the period between 2004-2014;
  • Peak hour power deficit for the period between 1994-2004 was reduced from 18.6% to 0% while it increased to 6.47% from 2004-2014, and
  • Permission letter to the Sikkim Teesta Power Project was acquired from Genco by dishonest means.

 

Objectives set in White Paper:

  • 9 hours of uninterrupted, quality power to be supplied to farmers;
  • Efforts to be made to provide 24 hours power to industries and homes;
  • Special focus on saving electricity;
  • 13 Lakh agricultural motors to be replaced to save 25% of electricity, and
  • Use of LED bulbs in households to save electricity over and above the saving from the  farm sector.

 

The chief minister acknowledged that it was an uphill task to correct the “mistakes” of his predecessors. “Our Government has been quite steadfast in taking quick action and efficiently managing the power situation,” he claimed, adding, “Even though we are far away from becoming power-sufficient.”

Naidu has promised that “within the next 5 years, our State will not only become power-sufficient, but will also become power-surplus.”

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