Already reeling under the impact of recession,Andhras industrial sector is now likely to face power cuts as the state is hit by power shortage again. Energy Minister Mohammed Shabbir Ali has said that the Government is thinking of forcing a two-day holiday in the industrial sector as the state is unable to meet its power demands. The Government cannot curtail power supply to the farm sector until the end of the agricultural season and so a power cut to the industry is being contemplated,the minister has said.
The decision to force power cuts on industry was taken after a two-day district collectors conference in which many of them raised concerns about erratic supply of power,especially to the farm sector. Energy department officials has called for a meeting of industry associations to discuss the two-day power holiday and a schedule is likely to be announced on Tuesday.
Officials said that power consumption had touched 210 million units,up from a demand of 175 million units last July,due to which the state is faced with acute power shortage in the coming weeks. The state produces approximately 100 million units at present,and supplements the shortfall by purchasing power.
This is the fourth time in less than a year that the industry is being forced to observe power holidays. The Government has made it clear that farm sector will be its priority till the end of the agricultural season,so there is no scope of negotiation, said an industry association representative.
The state-run Central Power Distribution Company of AP Ltd is likely to issue an advisory to consumers to minimize use of air-conditioners and electric cookers.