Minister evades reply on power meters to farms

Centre told about State’s opposition to the move, says Minister

The State government has avoided a direct reply on whether or not the energy reading meters would be installed to the agricultural connections, as prescribed in the draft of the Electricity Amendment Bill.

Replying a question on renewable energy during the Question Hour in the Assembly on Monday, Minister for Energy G. Jagadish Reddy said the State government including, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, and the power utilities had already written to the Centre against the move stating that it would adversely impact the cost subsidy being given to them. He, however, admitted that the provision was there in the draft Bill.

On the renewable energy capacity he said from the mere 72 megawatt of in 2014, the capacity had increased to 3,600 mw by the end of 2017-18, 3,894 mw by 2018-19 and 3,943 mw by 2019-20 and it had reached over 4,200 mw now. There were plans to add another 3,000 mw over the next two years, he noted.

The Minister claimed that Telangana was pioneer in initiating the distributed generation method of solar power since 2015 and due to which the prices of solar energy had come down to ₹2.5 to ₹3 per unit now. The utilities were ready to meet peak demand up to 15,000 mw to ensure uninterrupted supply to all categories of consumers.

Greenery in TS

Haritha Haaram plantation programme has improved the greenery by 3.67% during the last six years of its implementation, Minister for Forests and Environment A. Indrakaran Reddy informed the Assembly on Monday.

In his response to a question asked by TRS members M. Yadagiri Reddy A. Rekha Naik and others during the Question Hour, the Minister stated that the achievement was certified a Central government survey. He explained that against the plan to plant 230 crore saplings so far under Haritha Haaram, 217.41 crore saplings were planted and the survival rate was about 85%.

On the protection of plants, the Minister said 10% of the budget of gram panchayats and municipalities was being allocated for the purpose and changes were also made in the panchayat raj and municipal Acts. He stated that of the over 2.77 crore square km of geographical area of the State the forest land comprised 66.64 lakh acres. The percentage of green cover was 24.05 in Telangana compared to 21.34 at national level and the State’s aim was to improve into 34%.

On the social security (‘aasara’) pensions Minister for Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Errabelli Dayakar Rao admitted that new applications were not cleared for the last one year due to COVID impact but soon they would be accepted.

Extending the time of enrolment (registration) for the KCR Kit scheme from the present 12 weeks of pregnancy to at least 14 weeks, increasing the number of Amma Vodi (102) vehicles, establishment of new junior colleges in populous mandals and problems in employees health scheme (EHS) were also asked.

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