Andhra reeling under power shortage

posted under by NSmurthy
HYDERABAD: The state is reeling under acute power shortage and is desperately looking towards the sky to bail it out. With rains playing truant in the state as well as in the catchment areas in Karnataka, Srisailam reservoir, which is the main source of hydel power, has not received any inflows.

The state is now facing a shortage of 1200 MW of power a day with the demand having escalated to 6981 MW. All the efforts made by the power utilities to buy power from outside have come to naught. The recent floods in the western region and miners' strike have only made matters worse.

This has resulted in grid disturbances for units under NTPC and Talcher resulting in sudden tripping. At the same time, two units of Vijayawada Thermal Power station were down due to technical snag. This has resulted in short supply of power to the extent of 420 MW in the Andhra region and 700 MW in Telangana and Rayalaseema regions.

According to the Central Power Distribution Company Limited (CPDCL), the major burden of doing the tight rope walk has fallen on the company since it provides power to two Rayalaseema districts of Kurnool and Anantpur and five Telangana districts of Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda, Medak, Rangareddy and Greater Hyderabad.

As if monsoon failure is not enough, the power consumption in the domestic sector in twin cities and for agriculture in Telangana districts has been going up. In the twin cities, it went up from 14.93 MU on June 28 to 17 MU on July 3.

In view of this, all discoms have been asked to go in for load shedding and ensure that the frequency levels are maintained. Due to increase in demand, the line frequency is hovering at a low level of 48.6 hertz which could cause damage to the grid, according to officials.

However, energy minister Shabbir Ali assured of four-hour free power for farmers during day and three hours at night by cutting down on the domestic sector. Reports from districts indicate that rural areas are facing power cuts ranging from five to nine hours while a minimum of two-hour power cuts are being imposed in urban areas.