Power cuts hit horticulture, aqua farmers badly in Nellore

Power cuts hit horticulture, aqua farmers badly in Nellore

Against the requirement of 1.35 crore units a day, only 1 crore units being supplied now

Nellore: Power cuts in the name of Emergency Load Relief are giving trouble to horticulture farmers, who grow acid lemon, sweet orange, groundnut and watermelon crops in the district. Vegetables, fruits and others require water during summer and the farmers are witnessing nightmarish experience with shortage of power.

They are waiting at the farms even during nighttime to provide water to the fields. The condition of aqua farmers is also appalling as it requires sufficient power supply for managing the seed growth. Even skyrocketing prices of fuel are also making the situation worse where the cost of production is significantly increasing.

Aerators have to be run continuously during summer for managing oxygen levels in the ponds and either farmers must use power or fuel for running these aerators. Aqua farming is rampant in Kovur, BR Palem, Allur, Ulavapadu, Indukurpet, Vidavalur Mandals in the district on 40,000 acres presently.

But officials are saying there are no official power outages in the district. In fact, horticulture crops such as acid lemon, sweet orange, groundnut, watermelon and papaya are grown in Rapur, Podalakur, Atmakur, Udayagiri, Marripadu and Varikuntapadu areas. Farmers are facing troubles engaging workers to water the plants/trees as power cut timings are unexpected.

They are bearing losses failing to assign work to the labourers. Watermelon is being grown in areas close to Penna River for adequate water source and the shortages are making them disgusted. Officials say there is a demand of 1.35 crore units per day and now they are getting only around 1 crore units making the situation complicated.

Officials are failing to manage the shortage of 35 lakh units. This year temperatures are also increasing abnormally touching around 40 degrees even during the first week of April indicating severe summer days ahead. Further, the industrial sector is also going to witness power shortage from April 12 in all divisions and for Nellore Rural, Gudur and other areas from April 13 where they would get only 50 percent of power they require.

There are around 5,000 industrial units in the entire district. A senior official from Transco said they are implementing emergency load relief only to manage power shortage. As soon as supply is increased, they would provide normal power to all sectors as usual.

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