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Seven-hour power supply during rabi

Special Correspondent

Timings of two spells of supply will change from place to place

HYDERABAD: Electricity will be supplied to the agriculture sector for seven hours a day in two spells during the ensuing rabi season.

In effect, the same level of supply as in the kharif season will be maintained by stepping up purchases from other States as also increasing the generation. Even with the restricted supply to rural areas as it is now, the demand is expected to touch an all-time high of 205 million units a day by April.

The decision not to reduce the duration of supply for the farm sector in spite of fears of a shortfall in supply was taken by Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy at a meeting here on Wednesday to review the power situation. The meeting resolved not to impose any cut on industries or urban areas this year.

The timings of the two spells may, however, change from place to place depending on the arrangements made by the distribution companies after discussions with farmers at sub-station level.

Speaking to reporters later, Energy Minister Mohd. Ali Shabbir and APTransco chairperson Rachel Chatterjee announced that the Chief Minister had approved a budget of Rs. 2,600 crore to purchase power additionally and operate some plants on naphtha to meet the estimated shortage of 4,438 million units. The budget would also be used to purchase power from the unallocated share of the Central grid.

As part of the strategy, the entire 350-MW capacity of Lanco would be run on naphtha and the gas accruing to Lanco be diverted to operate Vemagari and other plants.

Fourth unit

The Minister said the recently synchronised fourth unit of the Rayalaseema power station which would be run at its full capacity of 210 MW by January, and the first and second units of Jurala hydel station (each 39 MW) that would join the grid shortly, would be handy in dealing with the situation.

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