The power situation in Andhra Pradesh continues to be grim, with severe cuts now spilling over to the Telangana region, including the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.

Nearly half the State is facing a blackout with the employees of State-owned utilities, AP Genco and AP Transco from the Seemandhra region abstaining work. About 4,300 MW is off the grid as there is no power generation in three major power Stations in the State.

These include the 1760-MW Narla Tata Rao thermal power station in Vijayawada, the 1050-MW Rayalaseema thermal power station, the 770-MW Srisailam right bank hydel power house, and projects at Sileru and Machkund.

According to Government sources, while the peak demand is estimated to be about 11,000 MW in the State, the current supply is about 7,500 MW leaving a huge gap. Even though the State has made arrangements to augment additional power, the striking staffers in Seemandhra have refrained from drawing any power. Hundreds of substations have tripped.

However, following intervention by the Government, power supply has been restored to some of the essential services such as hospitals, drinking water supply and railway traction.

A Group of Ministers today held parleys with the employees’ representatives, calling upon them to get back to work.

Some of the essential services such as hospitals and even airports were forced to rely on back-up support.

The people in all the 13 districts in the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions have been facing immense hardship. The power cuts witnessed over the past two-three days have now spilled over to the Telangana region too, with some places facing up to six hours of power shortage.

Even if the striking employees get back to work, it may take a minimum of 24 to 36 hours to restore supply, sources said.

The strike by Seemandhra employees, against granting a separate statehood for Telangana is on for more than two months now.

rishikumar.vundi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on October 8, 2013)
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