Farmers and local industrialists on Sunday took to streets protesting against erratic power supply and unscheduled power cuts in various parts of the State.

There have been reports of farmers locking up some electricity department officials and tried to lay siege to substations in some areas of the State. There have been isolated incidents in Guntur district including at Rentachintala where there has been unrest.

There have been reports of similar concerns by farmers who want proper power supply to run pump sets to draw underground water for farm operations. Incidents from Nalgonda and Warangal districts have also been reported. Member of Legislative Assembly, Seethakka, staged a sit-in along with her supporters at Mulugu.

Some women entrepreneurs in Hyderabad surrounded a substation.

Demand supply gap

The demand supply mismatch of the power sector has shot up to 48 million units today with the energy requirement at about 260 million units as against available supply of 212 million units. The demand has come down today a bit as the gap was as high as 65 million units when the overall requirement was 270 million units on Saturday.

Farm operations hit

With monsoon continuing to be erratic with excess rains in some districts of the State, where farm operations have commenced, in other parts where there is deficit, farmers are agitating for proper power supply to support sowing requirement.

The State Government is also in a piquant situation with the High Court directive on maintaining water at a specific high level in reservoirs. Therefore, the Government is contemplating seeking court permission to let out water to enable farm operations.

The power supply gap has recently widened with the natural gas supplies from KG Basin coming down and low water levels in hydel reservoirs hampering power generation. However, good inflow into Jurala facilitated some hydel power generation. But this has come down in the past two days.

rishikumar.vundi@

thehindu.co.in

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 20, 2012)
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