Andhra Pradesh announces weekly electricity holiday for industry

July 13th, 2008 - 12:27 am ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, July 12 (IANS) Faced with an acute electricity shortage, Andhra Pradesh Saturday announced one-day electricity holiday in a week for industry and two to six hours of power cut for residences. There would be no electricity supply for industries once in a week, announced Minister for Energy Mohammed Ali Shabbir.

The state government took the step in view of the unprecedented shortage of 1,000 MW due to inadequate rains this season.

In an attempt to maintain seven-hour free electricity supply to farmers, the government imposed one-day cut on the industry and two to six hours cut in towns and villages, Shabbir said.

The huge shortfall is despite the state purchasing 700 MW of electricity from other states. The minister said more electricity was not available from the southern grid as the other southern states were drawing their quota due to scanty rains.

Inadequate rains resulting in dwindling water levels in the major reservoirs have badly hit generation from the hydro-electric stations. The state’s share from the central power stations has also come down due to a similar situation in other states.

The hydro-electricity generation, which was 2,000 MW during July 1-12 last year, has come down to 600 MW during the corresponding period this year.

The energy minister said the government was spending Rs.100 million to Rs.110 million every day on purchase of electricity. It has spent Rs.1.1 billion for the purpose in the first 10 days of this month. This situation is likely to continue for 20 days.

Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who reviewed the situation at a high-level meeting, directed the officials to inform people about the difficult situation the state was facing.

Shabbir said the electricity cut would be five to six hours in villages, three to four hours in ‘mandals’ (big villages) and two hours in corporations or towns.

He said the industries opposed the proposal for two to three hour cut every day as this would hamper production. “They instead suggested one-day a week cut and we have agreed this suggestion,” he said.

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