KCR’s Administrative Brilliance leads to turnaround in power sector

(Jwala Narasimha Rao Vanam)

Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, during the past nine plus years, accorded topmost priority to Electricity Sector and as a result, Telangana now stands as Role Model for the entire country. It is the only State in the country that provides uninterrupted 24-hour quality power to all sectors and 24-hour quality, free power to agriculture sector. Unaware of this exceptional progress, some ‘Self-styled Political Pundits,’ discourteously, in the recent past, raised an issue of police firing that took place 13 years ago, in a bid to connect it to CM KCR by indulging in unfair and offensive remarks.

Yet another criticism that they strangely and unfairly made was that, 95 percent of farmers in Telangana whose holdings are below three acres do not require 24 hours power for agriculture. The corollary is that, leaders, and cadre of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) are up in arms, and posed a pertinent question to the detractors, that they should clarify, whether farmers need three hours power supply or power to raise three crops! Critics are also unable to comprehend as to what precisely happened 13 years ago, how it happened, why it happened, with whose involvement did it happen and how the consequential developments led to a massive and historical Separate Telangana Movement spearheaded by KCR culminating in formation of Telangana State.

When Chandrababu Naidu was CM of United AP, all of a sudden, he steeply enhanced ‘Power Tariff’ denying the benefit of subsidy enjoyed by farmers, since NT Rama Rao’s time. Taken a back, farmers launched statewide agitation demanding reduction in tariff and finally in August 2000 gave ‘March to Assembly’ call. Government of the day, resorted to police firing on the protesters at Bashir Bagh, Hyderabad killing three innocent farmers.

Heartbroken KCR, then Deputy Speaker of State Legislative Assembly and a prominent leader in TDP, following firing episode, Government’s indifference, and outrageous behaviour towards Telangana farmers, addressed a letter to CM Chandrababu expressing his unequivocal dissent. He pointed out that, entire Telangana agriculture depended on electric motors for which power was vital and at a time farming was in crisis and running in losses, enhancement of tariff was death blow on them. Despite KCR’s caution not to test patience of farmers, Chandrababu’s apathy to Telangana farmers continued.

KCR at that stage decided not to continue further in Chandrababu Government and TDP. He also decided that, until and unless separate Telangana state was formed, there would be no end to the miseries of farmers, and instantaneously made up his mind to launch movement by himself, being in the forefront. Indifference to Telangana farmers, indiscriminate power tariff enhancement by united AP rulers, and Bashir Bagh firing on agitators, were in a way, reasons that propelled second phase of massive Separate Telangana Movement unabetted.

Unlike in all other states, where Electricity has always been just one among many subjects, for agrarian dependent Telangana farmer, it is most vital constituent. In united AP, power distribution, power tariff, quality of power, dependability on power were not only unscientific, but also discriminative in nature pushing agriculture into deep crisis. Farmers’ suicides in large numbers were order of the day. After formation of Telangana, there has been a qualitative change and ‘Amazing Evolution in Nine Years in Telangana Power Front,’ which the unhealthy and novice critics are unable to comprehend astonishingly.

Prior to formation of Telangana, irrigation projects meant for Telangana were confined to paper designs, canals were left uncompleted, and Kakatiya period Chain of Tanks were grossly neglected. Hence Telangana farmer was left with no option except to dig bore wells, numbering over 24 lakhs with huge burdensome investments incurring debts and fitted with electric motors. In spite of this, adequate power supply was nightmare. High-tension lines, sub-stations, transformers were dysfunctional, resulting in frequent low voltage and burning of motors as well as crops dried up.

Against this background and context of untold misery, KCR formed TRS (Now BRS) with the slogan of Separate Telangana State and promised to provide 24-hour quality free power to farmer. This is contemporary history, better to be known to these novice critics.

In 2004 Assembly Elections TRS contested in alliance with Congress Party that promised free power supply to farmers. After Government formation, the (Namesake) free power supply said to have been given to agriculture was only for a meagre three-four hours during nights, that too, after industrial, commercial, and domestic requirements were totally met. Hardships like low voltage, farmers’ deaths due to electric shocks and snake bites remained unchanged. KCR during agitation frequently mentioned about these hardships and gave a call to people to stand by TRS for getting free, quality 24-hour power supply, as and when Telangana was formed and TRS comes to power, and in the process established incredible credibility among farmers.

On June 2, 2014 Telangana State was formed and KCR became Chief Minister. His topmost priority was to overcome power crisis and shortage, effectively, efficiently, by drawing short, mid, and long-term strategies, that included, buying required quantum of deficit power from available states to bridge demand-supply gap. Initially, Telangana entered into Power Purchase Agreement with Chhattisgarh to buy 1000 Megawatts in November 2014 and later in September 2015 for additional 1000 Megawatts. Within 9 months of its formation, Telangana became the first ever state in the country supplying 24 hours without power cuts to all sectors and 9 hours uninterrupted quality power for agriculture.

KCR, always a peasant supporter, in his pursuit to provide 24 hour free, quality power to agriculture, as promised, gave roadmap to officials concerned, no matter the financial burden, grid issues and any other connected problem. Telangana TRANSCO and GENCO Chairman and Managing Director, Devulapalli Prabhakar Rao an experienced expert in the field of power for over five-six decades, implemented directions and thought process of CM KCR by making necessary technical, technological, and other arrangements. New sub-stations, transformers, and lines were established. Since January 1, 2018 Telangana became one and the only state in the country, to provide 24-hour free quality power to agriculture and scripting an exceptional contemporary history, for which CM KCR complemented Prabhakar Rao on different platforms.

At the time of formation of Telangana, the installed power capacity was only 7778 Megawatts and today it reached 18453 Megawatts. Construction of Yadadri Ultra Mega Thermal Power Plant of 4000 Megawatts is in final stages. Four units of Bhadradri Power Plant of 1,080 Megawatts, Kothagudem Power Plant of 800 Megawatts, and Jaipur Power Plant with 1200 Megawatts commenced power generation. Power Plants with generating capacity of 8085 Megawatts are under construction. The target of KCR is to make available 28000 plus Megawatts of power production and convert Telangana as power surplus state shortly. This shows ‘KCR’s Administrative Brilliance and Statesman Approach.’ What an ‘Astonishing Transformation!

In peak demand of 15497 Megawatts and in sanctioning agriculture pump sets Telangana stands number one in the country. Per Capita Consumption of Electricity which is an indicator of economic progress has increased from 1356 units in 2014-15 to 2126 units in 2021-22, which is 69% higher than National Average. In Telangana, now no power cuts, no voltage problems, no burning of electric motors, no agitations by farmers, and no power holidays to industries. Novice Critics should understand this reality and should study facts before indulging in unfair criticism, failing which, Newton’s Third Law of Motion may be applicable!

Courtesy: The Hans India

(The writer is Chief Public Relations Officer to Chief Minister Telangana).


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