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Vinod Kumar, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, June 18, 2013
Heavy downpour from the past four days has turned out to be a boon for the UT electricity department, as it has been selling surplus power, which otherwise was facing power shortage. Good news for residents, there will be no more scheduled power cuts.
The city recorded over 200mm rainfall in June so far and experts have predicted heavy rain in the coming days. Due to early monsoon, the city witnessed a steep fall in the demand of electricity in the past few days. On June 16, the maximum demand was recorded at 175MW, while the minimum demand was mere 89MW. Thanks to fall in demand, the department has been selling around 25MW daily on average to the power exchange from the past three days.

Giving details, UT superintending engineer MP Singh said the average selling price was about Rs. 2.50 per unit and different prices were charged for power available in different time slots. He further said with the fall in demand, the department expected to sell surplus power till the end of this month.

The power requirement of the city is met through central generating power stations (CGS) of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) as determined by the government.

The average load of Chandigarh is about 150 MW per day which goes over 300MW during summer season. It touched 340MW on May 24, highest, so far, this season. The expected demand for this summer is around 400MW.

There are nearly 2.5 lakh consumers in different categories. Of these, 1.75 lakh fall in the domestic category.

Recently, the power ministry allocated around 30MW to Chandigarh out of unallocated quota and also gave one-time permission to the UT administration for purchasing power worth of Rs. 56 crore at their level. Under the present scenario, the administration is allowed to purchase power up to Rs. 8 crore and beyond the limit it has to take permission from the ministry of power. At present, the administration has floated tenders for purchasing power of Rs. 50 crore.

City power demand in last 5 days

                     Maximum      Minimum
June 16                175           89
June 15                210         135
June 14                243         191
June 13                275        168
June 12               325         169

(All figures in MW)