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Mar 31, 2013 at 02:26pm IST

Andhra battles electricity cuts, govt urges consumers to produce solar power domestically

Hyderabad: Political protests, indefinite hunger strikes and fierce debates in the state assembly, Andhra Pradesh's opposition parties have trained all their guns at the Chief Minister, accusing him of mismanaging the deepening power crisis in the state. Proving seven hours of free electricity to farmers and reducing tariff burden on consumers, however, remain their key demands.

"We are 27 MLAs here and on behalf of the Telugu Desam Party, we are demanding full fledged power supply to the citizens of Andhra Pradesh. This government has failed in containing the power crisis," said party leader P Keshav.

Mounting pressure has now forced Chief Minister Kiran Reddy to appoint a sub-committee to reconsider the decision over an impending power tariff hike. Consumers, meanwhile, are already bearing the brunt of the Fuel Surcharge Adjustment charges, which were added a few months ago. And with no relief from long power cuts, the deteriorating situation is hurting the Congress government.

According to official records, Andhra Pradesh faces an average of 50 MU deficit everyday. With a gap of 17 per cent between power generation and demand, the state is buying electricity at a high cost of Rs 12.50 per unit. Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh government has also issued orders urging consumers to produce solar power domestically and sell excess to the grid.

But despite the crisis, Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy is trying hard to put up a brave face. "Let us not politicise the issue. I request the opposition to come up with constructive suggestions. We are doing all that we can and hopefully the situation will get better in a few months," he said.