Free electricity promised by Congress might cost Telangana big

It remains to be seen whether or not Congress will deliver on its promise of providing free power with Telangana power distribution companies reeling under Rs 81,516-crore debt

Hyderabad: With Telangana’s power distribution companies reeling under Rs 81,516 crore debt and accumulated losses of Rs 62,461 crore, as per Congress whitepaper, providing the promised free electricity will be one of the most challenging tasks for the state government.

Subhan Bakery Instagram

Telangana Congress’ guarantee to provide 24-hour free electricity to Telangana’s farmers and 200 units of free power monthly to all households in the state through Gruha Jyothi is estimated to cost the state exchequer Rs 27,055 crore per year. 

The dues were discussed in Telangana Assembly on Thursday, where Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy pointed out that Siddipet, Gajwel and Hyderabad South are in the top three positions in the non-payment of electricity dues in the state. “Siddipet has 61.37 per cent dues followed by Gajwel 50.29 per cent dues and Hyderabad South was in third position with 43 per cent dues,” he said.

MS Education Academy

He further added that former minister Harish Rao, former chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and Akbaruddin Owaisi should take responsibility of paying the electricity dues in Siddipet, Gajwel and Southern Hyderabad districts.

According to the Central Electricity Authority of India (CEA), as of FY 2021-22, Telangana had 1.70 crore power connections, of which 1.23 crore were domestic and 26.63 lakh were agricultural.  

With electricity prices currently at Rs 5.10 per unit (for the first 200 units consumed), the government will have to set aside Rs 15,055 crore for 1.23 crore domestic consumers and around Rs 12,000 crore on free electricity for farmers per year. The electricity costs may go further up with more number of connections across the state. 

Consumption up by 56.9% since 2014

The electricity per capita consumption in Telangana has increased by 56.9%. In other words, the consumption gone up from 1355 kWh in 2014-15 to 2126 kWh in 2021-22, CEA data shows.  

There has been a 27% increase in the gross electricity generation in Telangana since fiscal year 2020-21, with generation rising from 38,944.29 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) to 47,398.19 GWh.

The sector-wise breakdown reveals a significant uptick, especially in domestic and agricultural usage. 

For instance, the total energy sold across various categories, including domestic, commercial, and industrial, has swelled from 2569.13 GWh in 2014-15 to 16090.07 GWh by 2019-20.

It has been observed that over the years, the consumption of electricity in industrial sector has come down due to the advent of new technologies. At the same time, the domestic consumption has gone up with households using more appliances.

Electricity supply in Telangana is a result of efforts of state, private, and Central discoms. The state focuses heavily on thermal and hydroelectric generation, with some contribution from renewable sources. The private sector, on the other hand, leans more towards renewable energy along with thermal and lignite sources, and Central discom also focuses on thermal power generation. 

So far, Rythu Bandhu scheme started by BRS government had been the most expensive scheme in the state budget, which cost around Rs 16,000 crore last year. Now, the free electricity scheme Gruha Jyothi along with free electricity to farmers will cost around Rs 27,055 per year and an estimated Rs 1,35,275 crore over the five years of the incumbent government. 

Back to top button