VIJAYAWADA: The State government has directed the Energy Department to prepare a comprehensive action plan to improve public participation in the power sector to strengthen it, enhance consumer services and make the schemes under Navaratnalu more successful.
As energy services are fundamental for fulfilling basic social needs, driving economic growth and fuelling human development, the government wants to involve the public on a large scale and build a strong network from the village to the city level and collect information on Navaratnalu schemes, consumer services and take feedback from the public so as to enable the utilities to take immediate action if any issues arise in the power sector.
“Though the energy consumption in the State is increasing substantially, the power utilities are able to meet the rising electricity demand successfully due to effective implementation of 24x7 power supply and stringent steps initiated by the government for strengthening the power sector,” said Energy Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy.
He said the increase in energy consumption is an indication of considerable economic development of the State. For instance, the electricity consumption of Visakhapatnam in APEPDCL region in 2018-19 was 6,696 MU, which increased to 8,164 MU in 2021-22, registering a growth of 21.9%, he pointed out. This clearly shows the increasing economic activity in Visakhapatnam. Also, 10 Gas Insulated (GIS) substations have been constructed to provide quality and uninterrupted power to industrial consumers in Visakhapatnam, the Energy Minister said.
“The ultimate goal of the State government is to make the power sector vibrant for sustainable development of the State. Apart from the successful implementation of the government schemes under Navaratnalu, including a reduction in transmission and distribution losses, fixing of meters to agricultural pump sets in the interests of farmers, energy efficiency, renewable energy projects, pumped hydro storage projects etc, the State is also implementing the schemes of Union Ministry of Power, including Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameena Jyothi Yojana (DDUGJY) and Integrated Power Development Scheme(IPDS) etc.,” he said.
The government is implementing the AP Disaster Recovery Project (APDRP) to instal underground power cables in Visakhapatnam at a cost of about `720 crore with financial assistance from the World Bank. The government is also providing free power to various sections of consumers, including BCs, SCs and STs.
Underlining the need for public participation, he said, “As a people’s government, we always give top priority to the people’s voice. People’s satisfaction is the precise measurement for the success of any pro-public scheme being implemented by the government.”