Vijayawada: Chief minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy on Sunday said the state government, on the eve of the birth anniversary of former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, has decided to focus on core sectors like power and agriculture.
He said YSR was the pioneer of free power (to agriculture) in the country and the state government would follow in his footsteps. He wanted officials to strive to make the nine-hour free power during day as a role model for other states.
Stating that agriculture was the priority for the government, the chief minister said: “I want to do everything and anything that helps to uplift the lives of farmers. We are taking several significant steps under Rythu Bharosa scheme, including nine-hour free power that gives a fillip to agriculture,” he said.
Energy, forest and environment minister Balineni Srinivasa Reddy, who reviewed the power sector with officials, said as the power sector is key for economic development of rural areas and Andhra Pradesh is the agriculture-based economy, free power would be a boon for agriculture. “It will help in the economic development and improvement of productivity in the state,” he added.
He said around 3,070 feeders against the total 5,284 are feasible to extend the nine-hour power to farm sector covered by SPDCL and 784 feeders against 1,379 under EPDCL. “As free power is being supplied to around 60 per cent of agriculture feeders, the government is firm to reach the target of 100 per cent by July 2020. The government has already agreed to release Rs 1,700 crore towards strengthening of infrastructure for the remaining 40 per cent feeders,” he said.
Energy secretary and AP Transco chairman and managing director N Srikanth said 18.15 lakh farmers would benefit from the scheme. The energy department would release around 53,000 new agriculture pump set connections on priority.
AP Genco managing director B Sreedhar said steps were being taken to complete thermal power projects as per schedule in view of increasing demand.
“Stage-V of NTTPs (800 MW) is expected to be completed by 2020 and SDSSTPS Krishnapatnam (800 MW) by December 2019,” he promised.
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