Power cut for industries, domestic consumers; ryots spared

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Hyderabad, Jul 12 (UNI) While reassuring farmers of continued supply of seven hour free power to 26 lakh farm pumpsets, the Andhra Pradesh Government today announced one-day power holiday for industrial units in a week and power cuts ranging from two to six hours for domestic consumers in view of the poor hydel power generation in the state.

Addressing a press conference after Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy reviewed the power situation with senior energy officials here, Energy Minister Mohd Ali Shabeer said power would be cut for two hours in cities, three to four hours in mandal headquarters and other towns and five to six hours in villages till hydel power generation improved.

Dismissing as ''politically-motivated'' the stir by Opposition parties, the Minister said the power demand, which was only 110 million units per day in July 2003 when the TDP was in power, had now shot upto 190 million units per day against the power generation of 154 million units per day.

The government had purchased power worth Rs 110 crore in the last 10 days from other states. The state government was 'handicapped' as the power generation was poor in the neighbouring states too due to passive Southwest monsoon.

''The power generation will get augmented by another 500 MW when the Nalra Tata Rao Vijayawada Thermal Power Station's new unit will be commissioned in November 2008 and the 500 MW Bhoopalpalli-gas based plant starts operation in February 2009,'' he said, adding 417 MW power generation capacity was added in the last four years.

He blamed the ''faulty'' policies of the previous TDP Government which entered into power purchase agreement with gas-based independent power producers without ensuring availability of gas, for the present crisis.

UNI SM SJ MP AS2049

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