Energy Secretary N. Srikant on Wednesday said the power utilities in Andhra Pradesh state had improved performance in supply of quality and reliable power to all sectors. “Because of this, the average electricity consumption in the State has surpassed the national average energy consumption,” he said, explaining that AP’s power consumption grew 20.5 % in August this year, which is higher than the national average energy consumption of 18.6 %.
Speaking after paying tributes to eminent engineer and Bharat Ratna Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya to mark his 161th birth anniversary, Mr. Srikant recalled that the Father of Indian Engineering was known for his contribution towards harnessing water resources and he was also responsible for the building and consolidation of dams across the country.
Emphasising the need to emulate his principles for sustainability of the power sector, he said the increase in demand for energy was likely an indication of a rise in economic activity in the Andhra Pradesh State compared to last year. “This could be a good sign for the development of the State,” he said.
In the first fortnight of May, he said the average energy consumption of the State was 15.37 %, against a growth of 19 % in the national average energy consumption. “However, in August, our consumption surpassed the national average,” he said.
In the last two and half years, the utilities have implemented cost effective measures in power purchases, improved the infrastructure by erecting power lines, transformers and substations, which in turn helped in reduction of interruptions in power supply, he informed.
Mr. Srikant said the power purchase arrears and operating costs, which stood at Rs. 12,500 crore at the time of bifurcation of the State (June 2, 2014), reached Rs, 32,000 crore on April 1 in 2019. Serious efforts were made from 2019-20 to bail out the crisis-ridden power sector and considering the severe financial crisis faced by the DISCOMs, the State Government came to their rescue by releasing Rs. 28,166 crore to power companies between 2019-21. “The government focus has always been on consumer-centric policies,” he said.
The Energy Secretary said all-out efforts were being made to strengthen the power sector and achieve operational and economic stability with the support of the Government and the consumers.