No power tariff hike for five years: AP CM

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Hyderabad, Sep 5 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekahara Reddy today announced that there would no hike in power tariff for five years for all categories of consumers.

''The state will be able to generate additional 2000 MW power, when Reliance supplies gas and there would be enough power to enhance the duration of free power supply to farmers,'' he said amidst thumping of desk by ruling party members.

Pointing out that the state government ensured that power tariff was not hiked in the state in the last four years, even as several states hiked it at least twice or thrice, he said ''there would be no hike in power-tarrif for five years ''.

The Congress government would go to any extent, even purchase power from other states at Rs 12 or Rs 14 per unit to ensure that not even an acre of farmer's land dries up for want of water, he asserted.

He said the state government would add in the next four years another 9000 MW capacity in the public sector, neglected by the previous TDP government. As many as 3500 MW of power required for lift-irrigation schemes would be ensured at any cost, he added.

Describing his predecessor N Chandrababu Naidu as the ''prophet of doom'' for predicting that the power-cables would only be fit for drying clothes if ''economically unviable free-power is provided'', he said he had proved for four years that free power supply was possible.

Finding fault with Mr Naidu for agreeing to pay Rs 1,200 crore to gas-based power producers even when power was not generated for want of gas, he said his government had renogotiated and convinced the independent power producers to forgo it.

As soon the Chief Minister made the statement, Deputy Speaker G Kutuhalamma, adjourned the House to meet again tomorrow even as members of the opposition parties were on their feet, to seek clarifications from Dr Reddy.

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