Telangana discoms in debt of over Rs 81K cr: Whitepaper on energy

The whitepaper says that since formation of the state, only one power project of 1,080 MW capacity was conceived and commissioned at Bhadradri Thermal Power Stations (BTPS).

Hyderabad: Telangana’s power distribution companies have a debt of Rs 81,516 crore while their accumulated losses stand at Rs 62,461 crore, revealed the whitepaper on the energy sector.

A day after presenting a whitepaper on state finances, the new government of Congress party on Thursday tabled the report on the energy sector.

Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, who is also the minister for energy, presented the whitepaper. He told the House that the financial health of the power sector is precarious and is a matter of grave concern.

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Of the total debts, Rs 30,406 crore were borrowed as working capital primarily to pay power charges to the generators. Despite this, an amount of Rs 28,673 crore of generation and transmission dues remain to be paid by discoms.

The difficulty faced by discoms in paying power purchase bills has been aggravated by the default of government in paying the power bills of its own departments which have now mounted to Rs 28,842 crore. Of this, the amount due from lift irrigation projects alone is Rs 14,193 crore. The government’s default in paying committed true up charges of Rs 14,928 crore has further contributed to the further deterioration of discom finances, reads the whitepaper.

“Merely to keep the power supply going, discoms are resorting to borrowings on a regular basis which have reached unsustainable proportions. There is very limited scope to continue to fund the purchase of power through these means. Discoms are now finding themselves in debt trap due to the failure of the government in paying its dues and commitments to the sector.”

Vikramarka said that despite the legacy of financial imprudence, the Congress government is committed to providing quality and reliable power to the people of the state by overcoming the challenges faced by the sector with a responsible and transparent approach.

He mentioned that at the time of the formation of the state the installed generation capacity of TSGENCO was 4365.26 MW. Prior to the formation of the state, generation projects have been conceived/ initiated with a capacity of 2,960 MW. In addition, special provisions in the A.P. Reorganisation Act 2014 regarding power sector enabled the state to get over 1,800 MW power beyond the installed capacity in the state at that time.

According to the whitepaper, after the formation of the state, only one power project of 1,080 MW capacity was conceived and commissioned at Bhadradri Thermal Power Stations (BTPS) with inordinate time and cost overrun using subcritical technology.

Another power project of 4,000 MW in Nalgonda District (Yadadri Thermal Power Station) was taken up at a location far removed from the coal mines leading to avoidable coal transport costs of over Rs 800 crore/annum which are liable to further escalate with time and will be applicable over entire life time of the project, it added.

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