NTPC solar power purchase agreement forced on AP govt.?

Did the Andhra Pradesh Government act under pressure from the Union Power Ministry and asked its two discoms to enter into Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) hurriedly for supply of solar power at “inflated” price of Rs. 6.16 per kwh from its proposed 250 MW project in Anantapur district?

It appears so going by the argument put forward by those fighting in favour of consumers before the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) during its sitting on Saturday. They argued that if the Discoms had a choice of going in for competitive bidding, the price would have been much lower benefiting the consumer. In fact, conceding the vociferous demand  made by the consumers, the APERC agreed to hold a public hearing on November 7, to discuss the whole issue of PPA between NTPC and the two discoms—AP Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (APSPDCL) and AP Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL).

They argued that the State government for some “inexplicable” reason gave in to the “dictates” of the Centre and NTPC to “force” the discoms to enter into PPA by agreeing to a tariff which was “manipulated, one-sided, and irrational”, contrary to its solar power policy, provisions of the Electricity Act of 2003 and national policy of 2006. Calling the PPA questionable, they wanted the APERC to scrutinise the files thoroughly and also give them the opportunity to examine them to see who had taken what stand while arriving at the price.

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