Our Bureau

Hyderabad, May 1

THE State Government has constituted a high-level committee to continuously monitor energy conservation measures and ensure that the agriculture consumers benefit.

The power utilities have also been advised to intensify efforts at conservation and judicious use of the power, especially in view of the State's commitment to free power and the cause of farmers.

The Chairman and Managing Director of the Transmission Corporation of APTransco, Ms Rachel Chatterjee, has urged agriculture consumers to adopt conservation measures. They should fix quality capacitors and frictionless foot valves to their pump sets by the end of March, 2006.

If the agriculture consumers do not take this step, they will have to pay 50 paisa per unit or Rs 525 per H.P. per annum. By fixing these energy conservation devices, the farmers can see the results in getting quality power during the kharif season itself, besides reduction in consumption and consequent money saving.

For example by fixing two capacitors to 5 H.P. pump sets at a cost of Rs 500 would reduce transformer failures and motor burnouts.

It would improve the voltage level at least by 10 per cent besides improving the system frequency and save 10-15 per cent power, the APTransco claimed.

According to the modified power policy in place from April 1, and the Tariff Order 2005-06 issued by the AP Energy Regulatory Commission, capacitors are to be installed by `non paying category' farmers by March, 2006.

Simultaneously the APTransco and the Distribution Companies (Discoms), have launched awareness programmes for farmers called `Rythu Chaitanya Yatras', which would reach all districts till May 15 to educate farmers on quality capacitors and agriculture pump sets and overall energy conservation measures.

On the power front, the State Government has waived a huge amount of Rs 1,300 crore arrears on power bills to help the farmers.

Even in the revised policy, which intends to strengthen the AP Power Grid System, more than 94.58 per cent farmers are getting free power.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 2, 2005)
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