Brace up for power cuts post Dasara  

The Eastern Power Distribution Company of Andhra Pradesh Limited (APEPDCL) has started regulating electricity supply in Srikakulam district in view of the power crisis looming large over the State due to shortage of coal.

The APEPDCL has imposed a 6 to 10 pm power cut for all industries, except food processing units, to supply uninterrupted power to rural areas.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the domestic power consumption has increased steeply in the district due to rise in usage of ACs, air coolers, geysers and other home appliances. According to official sources, the district needs 250-300 MW power per hour. It has become a big challenge for APEPDCL to supply uninterrupted power to domestic consumers as well as industries.

With this, some domestic consumers have been facing unauthorised power cuts and low voltage problems due to overload in peak hours.To overcome this problem, APEPDCL has imposed a 6 to 10 pm industrial power cut. Granite, crushing, cashew, pharma, paper and other industries had started facing power cuts from Monday.

With the imposition of power cut, the APEPDCL has been saving at least 50-60 MW per hour and the same will be supplied to domestic consumers in rural areas. Though the power cut may impact industries, domestic consumers in rural areas have got a big relief from low voltage problems and unauthorised power cuts.  

According to APEPDCL Superintending Engineer L Mahendranath: “As per higher officials’ orders, we have been imposing 6 to 10 pm power cuts for all industries, except food processing units. We can save up to 60 MW power and it will be useful to supply uninterrupted power to rural areas. I appeal to people to minimise the power consumption by avoiding use of ACs, air coolers and other home appliances that consume more power. This emergency load relief will help the APEPDCL to avoid low voltage, overload and grid failures.”

Palasa Industrial Estate Cashew Association president M Rameswara Rao said, “Though cashew industry comes under the food processing category, the APEPDCL is implementing power cuts, which will have an adverse impact on production. We will lose one cashew production cycle per week with the imposition of a four hour power cut. It will impact the quality of cashewnut and its price.”

We have at least 300 cashew units and more than 20,000 people in and around Palasa are dependent on it for their living. We do not have high capacity power generators to continue our production during power cuts. Hence, we appeal to the State government to exempt the cashew industry from power cuts, Rameswara Rao said. 

The state government is compelled to choose load shedding (power cuts) across the state, following the coal shortage and lack of preparation. With revenues and financial situation already low in Andhra Pradesh, this is going to further worsen the current crisis. 

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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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