YS Jagan Mohan Reddy Government is spending nearly Rs 8400 crore per year for supplying more than 12000 MU power at free of cost to about 18 lakh agricultural consumers said Minister for Energy Balineni Srinivasa Reddy. Also, the government spent Rs 1700 crore to make all the 6663 agriculture feeders in the state are capable of extending 9 hours 3 phase power supply during day time to agriculture services as on date.
With an objective to give a boost to agriculture sector, the State government is taking concrete measures to strengthen YSR 9- hours free power supply scheme to ensure that the farmers will get the free power for the next 25 years which helps to make agriculture as a profitable activity and empower farmers. The State government has also given clear directions to power utilities to focus on building a permanent and robust system to supply free power to farmlands in the State.
Apart from supply free power to agriculture for the next 25 years, there is a need to reduce the average power purchase cost (Rs 4.36 per unit) at which agriculture power is being subsidised by State Government to DISCOMS for free supply. Solar energy has the potential to supply 9 hour day time free supply at low cost.
It is decided to procure power from Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a Government of India enterprise to fulfil requirements in agriculture sector. The SECI has proposed to offer solar capacity of 9000 MW to AP, in three tranches at a price of Rs 2.49 per Unit including trading margin, delivered at injection point connected to central transmission network in Rajasthan.
APDISCOMs have been supplying agriculture power during day time for 9 hours which synchronizes with the expected solar generation. The day time 9-hour supply also enables Discoms to supply the variable renewable power directly to agriculture consumers, said a senior official of APTransco.
“The existing power purchase cost of DISCOMs is around Rs 4.39/Unit when compared to the proposed procurement from SECI, there is a reduction of almost Rs 1.90/Unit and it tantamount to a savings of Rs 3230 Cr per year,” the official said.
The Minister for Energy, Forest and Environment Balineni Srinivasa Reddy who has reviewed the general power supply position in the State particularly to the Agriculture sector over teleconference, said that the nine hours free power scheme had given a bharosa (assurance/ security) to farmers to protect their crops. It would definitely help to make agriculture as profitable activity and empower farmers. The government also wants to make free power as a permanent scheme to support farmers in future, he said. The Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy strongly believe in the fact that the State would move towards progress only if the farmers are happy. Keeping it in mind, the government redefined the priorities giving special emphasis on free power to agriculture, power to aquaculture at subsidy price, availability of irrigation facilities, financial support under Rythu Bharosa, zero-interest farm loans and free crop insurance. “These initiatives will bring a great change in rural areas and lives of rural people. This Sankranti will bring cheers to farming community in the State,” the Minister said.
He further said that the free power scheme would help to boost agriculture productivity, enhance rural economy in all regions and help total development of Andhra Pradesh. “Our development model always depends only on filed reality. This is just beginning. We have a long way to go. The transformation of rural economy in all 13 districts will not be a distant dream,” the Minister said.
Secretary for energy Srikant Nagulapalli disclosed that State government had ordered to rename the existing AP Green Energy Corporation Ltd to AP Rural Agriculture Power Supply Corporation (APRAPSCom) and vest the responsibility of supplying free power to agriculture consumers on long term basis.The Secretary also said that the 9 hours day time power supply for agriculture is very prestigious scheme for power sector. As per directions of government, officials of power utilities from the rank of linemen to chairman are striving to make success the scheme. The Minister and the secretary have conveyed their wishes to farmers, all consumers and power sector employees on the occasion of Sankranti festival