Telangana deputy chief minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka
Telangana deputy chief minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka(Photo | Express)

Bhatti dares BRS leaders to debate power purchase agreements

Deputy CM dismisses KCR’s allegations of Cong govt paying over Rs 13 per unit

HYDERABAD : Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, who also holds the Energy portfolio, gave a strong rebuttal to former chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who had accused the Congress government of causing a power crisis in the state in just four months of coming to power. KCR had made certain allegations against the state government in regards to the power sector during a televised interview on Tuesday. On Thursday, Vikramarka gave point-wise replies to KCR’s allegations.

Vikramarka clarified that there were no power cuts in the state from December 2023. “The Discoms have met the highest ever peak demand of 15,623 MW and 308.4 million units of energy in the state. The GHMC area has been supplied with a record-high power of 4,093 MW. There has been no occasion to impose power cuts in the state since December 2023. Poor quality and maintenance of lines, transformers and other assets in the last 10 years has led to interruptions due to technical faults, which are now being attended to by the Discoms, alongside strengthening of distribution infrastructure.”

On KCR’s statement that the previous BRS government supplied electricity from Chhattisgarh for long-term requirements, Vikramarka recalled that an MoU was signed with Chhattisgarh on November 3, 2014, and the power scheduling started from May 6, 2017, to Discoms. Even though the MoU was signed for 1,000 MW, Chhattisgarh never supplied the full 1,000 MW, the deputy chief minister said. The average power supplied to Telangana Discoms was only 300 to 400 MW, he said, adding that the neighbouring state altogether stopped supplying power to our Discoms from April 2022 itself.

Responding to KCR’s statement that the Congress leaders resorted to spreading propaganda that the BRS government purchased power at Rs 13 per unit but it purchased power at only Rs 3.90 per unit, Vikramarka dared BRS leaders to a debate on the issue. “The previous rulers had purchased power at Rs 20 per unit and it was noted in the records. I am ready for a debate on this,” he said in a statement.

On the BRS chief’s allegations that the present Congress government was paying more than Rs 13 per unit, Vikramarka said it was factually incorrect. “The average price at which our Discoms have purchased power from the market from December, 2023 to March, 2024 is Rs 5.34 per unit,” the deputy chief minister said.

Responding to KCR’s claims that the BRS government increased the installed power capacity from 7,700 MW to 19,000 MW, Vikramarka said that out of the total installed thermal capacity in the state, only 2,080 MW of capacity was initiated by the previous government.

“Of this 1,000 MW was procured from Chhattisgarh which stopped supplying power in April 2022 itself. The remaining 1,080 MW of thermal capacity was constructed at Bhadradri thermal power plant using subcritical technology at a high cost. All the remaining thermal and hydel projects were initiated by previous governments before 2014. Since December 2023, the state has supplied more power than at any time in the past,” Vikramarka asserted.

The deputy chief minister said the Hyderabad power islanding scheme was taken up after the 2012 grid collapse and was in place before the formation of Telangana and that the BRS could not credit for the same.

‘Mismanagement by BRS spiked losses’

Vikramarka said that due to mismanagement by the BRS government, the accumulated losses incurred by Discoms increased from Rs 12K crore in 2014, to Rs 62K crore in 2023. “There hasn’t been a need for power cuts in the state since December 2023. However, poor line quality and maintenance over the past decade have caused occasional interruptions,” he added.

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