Unscheduled power cuts irk consumers in north Andhra

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Highlights

Despite denial of any power cut by the state government, people of north Andhra region have started experiencing frequent interruption in power supply.

Visakhapatnam: Despite denial of any power cut by the state government, people of north Andhra region have started experiencing frequent interruption in power supply.

Though not for long hours, the residents in Visakhapatnam complain of power cuts in brief spells in the last few days.

The power outage, however, is not happening in the same region but in different places that would last for an hour to two and in some days, it extends to three hours as well.

But tourist spots such as Araku Valley and parts of urban areas appear to be an exception for apparent reasons. In Agency areas, power interruption is not an uncommon feature. When it comes to rural and urban areas, power cuts normally last for 10 to 20 minutes in the garb of load relief.

Since the unofficial and unscheduled power cuts got extended to an hour to two hours under Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL) amid depletion of coal reserves, people opine that the government has begun the power cut exercise in the guise of load relief.

However, in an industrial hub like Visakhapatnam, other factors too are attributed to the power outage. With soaring temperatures and humid weather conditions, there is a larger dependence on air-conditioners and hence the power consumption is comparatively higher in the port city. On an average, there will be a consumption of 700 million units in April-August alone. However, this year, there is an additional consumption of 200 million units recorded for the same period.

With the economy recovering gradually post Covid-19, power consumption has once again gone up in recent times.

When it comes to Visakhapatnam rural areas, Golugonda, G Madugula, Chodavaram and other mandals witness unscheduled and unofficial power interruption. While in some mandals, the power cuts happen in the mornings, in other areas, it is witnessed in the evenings.

The situation is similar in parts of Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts wherein several hamlets grapple in darkness for an hour to two. "At L Kota, Vepada and Kothavalasa, among other mandals in Vizianagaram, the power cut lasts for two to three hours. Most of us have to make do with the two-phase power supply in the mornings.

Though commercial units get a three-phase power supply, it only lasts till afternoon as they suffer from frequent power interruption post noon," explains G Usha Rani, a millet farmer at Devada, Vizianagaram.

In Srikakulam, parts of Gara, Narasannapeta, Kothuru, Pathapatnam, Polaki, Tekkali, Ichchapuram, Kaviti and Vajrapukotturu experience unscheduled power cuts that would continue for one to three hours.

Though the social media is abuzz with the talk of power cuts to be enforced in AP sooner, APEPDCL officials deny any such outage. However, they maintain that the current power interruption is because of the power frequency crossing its permissible limits and fluctuations in the production which is a continuous process. And that, they claim, has nothing to do with the depleting coal reserves.

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