Power crisis takes a toll on Andhra Pradesh industries

If problem continues, several factories will have to close down

The power crisis in Andhra Pradesh has taken its toll on the industries, with the AP Transmission Corporation directing its officials to switch off power supply to industrial feeders of 11 KV and above, till further orders.

It also warned officials of serious action if the order was not implemented properly.

Understandably, the industrial sector is fuming since the government action comes without prior warning. “For the last three days, we do not have power and all the manufacturing concerns have shut their factories.

This is a serious issue as industries will have to shut down eventually. The other option is to step out and set up units in other states,” said Devendra Surana, President of the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI).

If the crisis continues, all units spread in the 18 industrial areas around Hyderabad will have to close down and lakhs of employees will be rendered jobless, he warned.

“Already, we face three-day power holiday in a week and most industries look forward to the weekends when there is supply,” Surana said.

Two units shutdown

The power crisis was aggravated after last week’s shutdown of 500 MW units at the Vijayawada Thermal Power Station and the National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) Ramagundam plant. Besides, the government was under pressure to ensure uninterrupted power supply to domestic consumers, especially in the Muslim-dominated old city area, in view of the holy month of Ramazan.

With the festivities coming to an end, authorities resumed the three-hour power cuts from Thursday.

The state houses about 1.61 lakh small scale units, providing livelihood to 3.7 million families.

“The industry is suffering an estimated loss of about Rs 250 crore every day. Given the situation, it becomes inevitable for the managements to cut down the labour force,” Surana said. Consequently, several industries are shifting to Chhattisgarh and Gujarat.

With people across sections criticising the government’s inept handling of the power crisis, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy sought 500 MW power from the central power stations in the southern region. The government also sought 300 MW from Kalpakkam and 75 MW from Neyveli.

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