• What is happening in Telangana power sector?

    Telangana Electricity Employees’ JAC Coordinator and TJAC member K. Raghu, on Monday, questioned the wisdom behind Damarcherla in Nalgonda as location for the Yadadri Thermal Power Project and the construction of Bhadradri Thermal Power Station in Manuguru of Khammam district with outdated technology.

    He said that his reports to the Telangana Government on various decisions pertaining to power sector have been disregarded, which include, among others, the one on the power purchase agreement with Chhattisgarh.

    Speaking at the release of his book ‘Telangana Vidyut Rangamlo Em Jaruguthunnadi’ (What’s happening in Telangana Power Sector’) – the first ever in a series of analytical reports to be published by the TJAC on various policy decisions since state bifurcation – Mr. Raghu said that he could not find a reason for Damarcherla being zeroed in as the location for the power project.

    “During Telangana movement, we had argued constantly for pithead projects, close to locations of coal availability. Damarcherla is located away from coal mines and transportation itself will cost Rs. 3,000 crore each year,” he explained.

    Though Bhadradri project was close to the Singareni coal mines, it was decided to use 50 to 100 per cent imported coal. “Besides, the sub-critical technology being used would add up an additional Rs. 400 crore burden each year, with which the contract employees working in the power utilities could be regularised twice,” he remarked, adding that the biggest disappointment from the Telangana Government has been the failure to regularise contract workers.

    Power utilities are already under heavy losses, owing to which revenue collection is given the utmost priority. The book intends to bridge the information gap faced by the public which is clueless about the basis for various decisions by the Government.

    N. Sreekumar, a consultant from Prayas Energy Group, emphasised on the need to bring to a halt the capacity addition in energy sector, as the year 2016-17 is announced as surplus year by the Central Electricity Authority. Across the country, generating stations are being backed down and payment of fixed costs for the backed down capacity would result in huge tariff burden. Patric Hornqvist Jersey

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