Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh today formally joined the Centre’s scheme that seeks to revive ailing electricity distribution companies, a step which will enable the state government to take over debts amounting to Rs 11,000 crore of its discoms during the current fiscal.
The Union Ministry of Power, the AP government and the state’s two power distribution companies (discoms) signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding to formally join the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojna (UDAY).
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power Piyush Goyal and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu graced the function wherein Union Joint Secretary (Power Distribution) A K Varma and state Principal Secretary (Energy and Infrastructure) Ajay Jain signed the MoU and exchanged the papers.
Under the agreement, the state government would take over debts amounting to Rs 11,000 crore of the discoms (APSPDCL and APEPDCL) during the current fiscal.
Lauding the initiatives of the Naidu government in the power sector, Goyal announced Andhra Pradesh has become the third state, after Gujarat and Punjab, to accomplish 100 per cent household electricity connectivity.
“This is a landmark achievement,” Goyal said, adding, it would be another landmark when the state reduces power transmission, distribution and (billing) collection losses to 5-6 per cent soon.
The state’s TDC losses currently stood at 10.19 per cent.
“It’s an aggressive target to bring down the losses to 5-6 per cent and if it is achieved, AP will be better than Europe and the USA.
“AP will soon become the first state in the country to install smart meters that will help curb power theft and pilferage,” the Union Minister added.
Noting that AP has come forward to replace existing 15 lakh agricultural pump sets over the next three years with energy efficient pump sets, Goyal said the Centre would fund the programme 100 per cent initially.
The state would pay back the Centre from the power saving over the next 10 years.
“Energy efficiency is a challenging yet rewarding programme for India,” Goyal remarked.