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Narla Tata Rao passes away

Special Correspondent

Tata Rao synonymous with the energy sector in Andhra Pradesh


HYDERABAD: Narla Tata Rao (90), a doyen of the power sector in the country and former chairman of the Andhra Pradesh State Electricity Board, died at a private hospital here on Saturday following a heart attack.

He is survived by wife Soubhagyamma, son Gangadhar and daughter Janaki. The funeral is likely to be held on April 9.

Tata Rao was born on September 4, 1917 in Kowtharam in Krishna district. After early education in Andhra, he graduated in engineering from Benares Hindu University in 1941 and obtained MS in power systems engineering in the US.

Tata Rao built the Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board from scratch in 1958. The late K.L. Rao appointed him as Member (Thermal) of the Central Water and Power Commission (CWPC) in 1972. However, Jalagam Vengala Rao spared no efforts to get Tata Rao to the State in August 1974. Tata Rao became synonymous with the energy sector in Andhra Pradesh. He increased the installed capacity of the State grid five-fold by conceiving giant generation projects like Vijayawada Thermal Station, Nagarjunasagar, Srisailam and Lower Sileru.

He formed a strong base for the State's electricity sector, which is now considered one of the best in the country. He won several awards at national and international levels, including `Padmasri'.

Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy described Tata Rao as a visionary and recalled his efforts to develop NTPC and the Power Grid. Power Minister Mohd. Ali Shabbir, who visited Rao's residence in Banjara Hills, said the Government would organise a State funeral.

Telugu Desam president N .Chandrababu Naidu, CPI (M) secretary B.V.Raghavulu, CPI State council secretary K. Narayana, S. Sudhakar Reddy, MP, and AP Transco Engineers' Association general secretary M. Satyamurthy also condoled the death.

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