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Andhra bandh over power tariff hike successful: K Nageshwar

Updated: April 9, 2013, 5:38 PM IST
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Andhra bandh over power tariff hike successful: K Nageshwar
How has Andhra Pradesh responded to the bandh call over power tariff hike?

How has Andhra Pradesh responded to the bandh call over power tariff hike? Political analyst & independent member of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council K Nageshwar joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.

Q. People put the politicians to power and have got to pay a high price for it? Is it maladministration or sheer rational pricing which makes the government compelled to hike the power tariff. Asked by: sundar1950in

A. The policy of putting profits of private companies before peoples interests led to this power tariff hike. The state government is not ready to even discuss the alternatives as any such alternative has to hit at the interests of private companies. Why should the common consumers pay for the government policy of handing over coal, and gas fields to private sector at a low price at times even throw away price.

Q. Can the Government denationalise power production,distribution and supply and allow market forces to manage itself? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. Let us not forget the private sector could not complete the projects in the mines allotted to them. Even the Reliance has scaled down the production targets in KG basin. The BPL project in Ramagundam and Hinduja projects at Vizag could not be completed after several years despite being in private sector.

Q. As a law maker do you find the rationalisation of Tariff happening in AP or any other state wrong. Is it also not the responsibility of the regulator to ensure that a fair tariff exists? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. What do you mean by fair tariff. The per capita consumption of electricity is also an indicator of human development. Irrational hike can not be called rational pricing.

Q. Why congress defends the subsidies given in food and does not defend for giving the power. While progress states are going with slogan sadak, pani and bijli. In AP no sadak, no Pani and now no Bijli Asked by: Raj

A. This is because perspective planning was missing in power sector. The two sectors that are in crisis in the state are power and agriculture. Surprisingly, for most of the time during the last nine years , there was no minister for these two portfolios. Even the latest budget has no allocations for boosting power production. The public sector GenCo is not given capital or fuel linkages while the private sector projects fail to take off and even if they take off, these private power projects produce and sell power at very high cost in the name of Merchant power policy.

Q. When TDP was in power they raised the power charges they even fired communist members and when YSR in power he raised the power charges and now Kiran also raised the power charges. no difference of all the three and why r they agitating no body knows and total loss to the the state of Andra Pradesh with a bandh call Asked by: kamalakar

A. The Andhra Pradesh economy is not adversely affected by one day bandh. The industrial sector recorded negative growth rate due to long power cuts. First time in the history of the state even industry bodies like Federation of Small and medium scale industries also supported the bandh call. Of course any bandh is inconvenience. But, today people voluntarily expressed anger to a great extent .

Q. Why govt has never announced a solar/wind power plant since 2009? Asked by: PVR Prasad

A. The government should answer this question. Perhaps it is because of lack of perspective planning. But, solar and wind power still can not become mainstream sources of energy though they need to be encouraged. The per unit cost of production of solar power is four times more than the thermal power.

Q. How has Andhra Pradesh responded to the bandh call over power tariff hike? Asked by: Priya

A. The bandh is near total except for the Hyderabad city. The city witnessed partial bandh. The government took it as prestige to show that bandh did not evoke response. But, this bandh has two distinct features. The opposition parties despite their differences joined the bandh. Secondly, more than the efforts of the political parties, the bandh was successful due to the voluntary expression of people's anger.

Q. Has any political party in AP proposed a way out of this crisis? Asked by: Ramesh

A. The Left parties publicly announced Alternative Plan which was prominently featured in the media too.

Q. In Andhra Pradesh, industry left without power three days a week. How could Govt. justify this...? Asked by: sri

A. The government is blaming the nature for this situation and hoping for the grace of Rain Gods to bail out.

Q. Do we have enough money(budget), resources and technology to generate more power? Asked by: PVR Prasad

A. The Andhra pradesh state budget is to the tune of 1.61 lakh crores . There is no dearth of technology too.

Q. People are opposing power plants near to their villages? what could be the solution for this? Asked by: PVR Prasad

A. There was no opposition to every power plant. For instance nobody opposed Ramagundam BPL Hinduja project at Vizag. But they could not come up. There was no opposition to Sathupally, Karimnagar, Shankarpally power projects. The government should set up plants not in fertile lands. The people should be properly compensated. There should be dialogue with people to allay their feelings. Many projects should not be crowded at one place as proposed in Srikakulam or Nellore districts.

Q. Why govt is not putting efforts to reduce the distribution loss? when will they act on this. will it cost too much to govt? Asked by: PVR Prasad

A. The distribution losses need to be controlled by ensuring 100 percent metering, preventing power theft, leakage etc. Technological and administrative measures are needed for this.

Q. Why village residents have more power cuts always when the crisis comes? what the sin they did? Asked by: PVR Prasad

A. They are soft targets. The cities attract attention. The economic activity is more concentrated in the cities. But, such discrimination should not be there.

Q. What should be done to rollback increased power tariff? Asked by: Srinivas

A. Certain long term and short term measures are needed. The present hike is due to several factors as argued by the Regulator and government. For instance, the costly fuel RLNG is imported to meet the production targets. While the per unit cost of production of power using KG Basin gas is about Rs.3, it costs Rs 10 to Rs 12 to produce power using RLNG. In fact the KG basin price itself is high due to higher price allowed by government to suit the profits of Reliance. If this KG basin gas production is increased and the price is revised the tariff can be reduced. The Reliance is deliberately reduced production as it is expecting revision of price in 2014. There are many such measures . The imported coal price can be reduced. Avoid allocating coal blocks to Big companies at throw away price. Create infrastructure to get power from Northern and North Eastern region. Repeal Merchant power Policy that benefits private companies at the cost of ordinary consumers.

First Published: April 9, 2013, 5:38 PM IST
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