Telangana became the first state in the country to supply free 24-hour electricity to the agriculture sector as the scheme came into effect from Monday.
In a New Year gift, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government commenced round-the-clock supply to 23 lakh pump sets from midnight.
The government hoped that the move will end the despair of farmers and accelerate the growth towards achieving 'Golden Telangana'.
The youngest state of the country was facing a severe power crunch at the time of its formation in 2014. However, it had amazing turnaround within few months, lifting the power cuts to all sectors.
It also managed to ensure nine-hour supply to farmers. With further addition to the installed capacity, the authorities have now made it 24-hour supply.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao described 24-hour supply as a "wonderful victory". He congratulated the employees of the electricity organisations saying they pulled the state from power deficit to power sufficient.
He announced a special increment to the electricity employees in recognition of their efforts.
"Though it was not mentioned in the TRS manifesto nor we ever made any promise, keeping in view the untold misery of the farmers, it was decided to supply 24-hour free power supply," he said.
KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, said that though certain states are giving free supply to the farm sector it is restricted a few hours. In some other states, though 24-hour power is given, it is being charged.
The officials said with round-the-clock supply to agriculture sector, the maximum peak demand will touch 9,500 MW. They are also confident of meeting the maximum demand of 11,000 MW by March.
Last week, Telangana State Generation Corporation (TS Genco) and Telangana State Transmission Corporation (TS Transco) Chairman and Managing Director D. Prabhakar Rao had reviewed the preparedness for implementing the scheme.
Telangana has 14,845 MWs of captive power generation while new plants are being set up to add an additional 13,000 MWs in future. By 2022, 28,000 MWs of power will be available in the state.