The Telangana government ushered in the New Year on Monday by gifting the farmers 24-hour free power supply for agricultural purposes.
Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao described the initiative as a "wonderful victory", according to an official statement.
"With 24-hour quality, uninterrupted and free power to the farm sector, Telangana will go down in the history as the first state in the country which is supplying round-the-clock power to all sectors," he said.
"Though it was not mentioned in the Telangana Rashtra Samiti's manifesto (during the Assembly elections in 2014) nor it ever made any promise, keeping in view the untold misery of the farmers, it was decided to supply 24-hour free power," the chief minister said.
Though round-the-clock power is provided in some other states as well, it is charged. Except Telangana, no other state in the country is giving 24-hour free power supply to the farm sector, he said.
Rao congratulated all the officials concerned and said everyone in the country was looking up to Telangana for the "revolutionary" changes that took place in the power sector.
The chief minister today held a meeting with TS Genco, Transco CMD D Prabhakar Rao and other senior officials of power utilities in the backdrop of launching the 24-hour supply to the farm sector.
As many as 23 lakh agricultural pump sets would be provided free power from December 31 midnight, the government had said last month. The initiative would push the overall power demand to 11,000 MW by March this year.
"By spending Rs 12,610 crore in setting up new power lines, transformers and sub-stations, the state power utilities have made elaborate arrangements for power supply," the government had earlier said.
The installed power capacity has grown from 6,573 MW as on June 2, 2014, to 14,913 MW as on today with an "ultimate capacity of 28,000 MW in the near future", the government said.
Meanwhile, state-owned Singareni Collieries Company said in the wake of the government's decision to supply 24-hour free power to agricultural pump sets in the state, the PSU is geared up to supply coal to all the power plants which have tie-ups with it for fuel supply.
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