Hours after power supply to most parts of India was snapped on Tuesday, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his Haryana counterpart Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the power crisis was not limited to their respective states.
The Punjab CM, who was addressing a gathering at Sangrur, described the crisis as a countrywide phenomenon and expressed helplessness in providing adequate power supply to commercial as well as domestic sectors.
Badal said deficient rainfall during the monsoon and increased demand of power in Punjab and across the country had deepened the crisis, resulting in hours of outages in both sectors. "Asin kehra ghar le ke jani ae (We are not going to take electricity home). We are providing what we have," Badal said.
The Haryana CM, who was speaking at a gathering in an Ambala village, said Haryana was not the only state facing a power crisis and the entire country was reeling under it. Badal assured of improvement. "The state government and Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) are making efforts to provide better power supply in the state, but nature is playing the biggest spoilsport as drought-like conditions are prevailing in the region due to scarcity of rain," he said after paying homage to Shaheed Udham Singh on the latter's 73rd martyrdom day.
Badal said the deficient rainfall had also led to lowest water levels in dams, creating problems for power customers as well as the authorities. Blaming other states for drawing more power from the central quota, Badal said "Such practices of power authorities and corporations of other states have completely upset the system, making all states face the consequences."
Badal said the state government had already urged the Centre to immediately allocate 1,000 MW additional power from the central quota to help farmers cope with the drought-like situation and to provide adequate power supply to industrial and domestic sectors.
"I would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and ask him to provide compensation on priority as the agricultural sector of Punjab, which is the largest rice-producing state, is reeling under huge losses due to drought-like conditions," he said.