Andhra Pradesh back to being a power-deficit state from power-surplus state? 

Whether it is non-payment of salaries to government employees or non-payment of dues to the electricity board, the Government of Andhra Pradesh stands first in all these rankings. From differences with investors and creating a hostile environment to businesses, the current YSRCP government has not taken any constructive steps to rebuild the state towards any development. 

If we rewind and go back in time to the post-bifurcation days in the newly formed Andhra Pradesh, the then TDP government took over a power-deficit state. From there one, within 100 days of the government, Andhra Pradesh has achieved the “zero power cuts” milestone under former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. Following this, the power deficit in the state has been brought down from 22 million units per day to zero.

Not just that but, in September 2014, the Andhra Pradesh government also signed the “The Power For All “(PFA) document with the Government of India. Under this program, the state government supplied 24X7 Power to all domestic, commercial and industrial consumers apart from 7 hours of supply to the agriculture sector.  As part of the understanding, the Government of India had then allocated 304 MW from NTPC Jhajjhar and 50MW from NPCL Kudankulam.

Additionally, AP Genco became the first power utility in the country during the time, in the public sector, to commission an 800MW supercritical unit at Krishnapatnam in Nellore in February 2015. A 800 MW super-critical unit began commercial operation in June 2015. Further, AP Genco plans also added 3,850 MW of capacity in the next 5 years. 

With the then CM regularly monitoring the progress of these power projects, they were on their track for completion. Meanwhile, AP Transco had prepared the “Green Energy Corridor” for wind evacuation of 3,150 MW at an estimated cost of Rs.3,435 crore during the previous term. 

“The Phase 1 of Green Energy Corridor covered 2,000 MW at a cost of Rs.2,146 crore. This is being funded by REC for two 400Kv substations and six 220Kv sub-stations apart from association transmission lines.  The Phase 2 of the Corridor for wind evacuation of 1,150 MW at an investment of Rs.1,289 crore. This includes one 400Kv sub-station and two 220Kv sub-stations along with associated transmission lines.” 

Apart from these, between 2014 and 2019, Andhra Pradesh also had the lowest T&C losses in the country. “AP Discoms have one of the lowest Aggregate technical and commercial losses in the country — 12.6% till February 2015 which is lower than the target fixed by the Ministry of Power for the current year,” said a government report. 

Even Chandrababu government’s previous work on welcoming renewable energy projects reduced the state’s dependency on coal and hydel power. But, the current state is witnessing power cuts at an unprecedented level. Why? AP government is yet to clear the dues to power corporations such as NTPC and despite repeated requests for payment, the state government failed to make any.

The DISCOMs reportedly owe Rs.350 crore to NTPC and at Simhadri power plant, the supply of 800 Megawatts of electricity has been stopped until further payment is made. Before this, NTPC which is owned by the government of India, urged the state government to make a minimum payment of Rs 30 crore but there was nil response. Having tried all options, NTPC disrupted the power supply and as a result, villages across the state are witnessing three to four hours or even more hours of electricity interruption.

From a 24×7 power for all situation between 2014 and 2019, Andhra Pradesh has literally slid into darkness under the current YSRCP government, especially from 2021. While building things takes hardwork, destroying things is easy. And, this is a clear example of the kind of governance Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy is offering the state of Andhra Pradesh with a thumping majority. 

And, all it took for Jagan was to take a power-surplus state to a power-deficit one in just two years of governance. Well, looks like there will be more blackouts for the state from here on! 

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Tejaswini Pagadala

Communications Consultant: TEJASWINI PAGADALA is an independent communications consultant. She has previously worked with the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office as the Communications Officer where she has written English speeches for the CM, managed English media communication from the CMO and handled social media accounts of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and the Government.
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