Absence of monsoon worsens power situation in Punjab | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Absence of monsoon worsens power situation in Punjab

The power situation in the region is set to go from bad to worse as the absence of monsoon has taken the demand up to 2,240 lakh units (LU), but the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) is barely managing to supply 1,950 LU as availability in the Northern Grid has also fallen drastically.

chandigarh Updated: Jul 19, 2012 21:11 IST
Vishal Rambani

The power situation in the region is set to go from bad to worse as the absence of monsoon has taken the demand up to 2,240 lakh units (LU), but the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) is barely managing to supply 1,950 LU as availability in the Northern Grid has also fallen drastically.


Unable to meet the demand, the PSPCL is imposing cuts of up to six hours a day in cities and up to 10 hours in the rural areas. Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Bathinda and Patiala are all witnessing massive power cuts, though the PSPCL claiming that it is imposing cuts of only up to four hours in major cities.

Due to the deficient monsoon, hydel power projects are suffering. The generation capacity of the Bhakra project, as per the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), has reduced by 40 LU. Apart from that, Punjab is getting nearly 350 MW less from the sources it had tied up with before the summer.

The level in the Bhakra dam reservoir is still at a critical level, and to save water for irrigation the BBMB has cut water release by 10%, which has a cascading effect on power generation.

"The power situation, which had improved somewhat after last week's rain, has again turned bad because of no rains since then. Demand from the past five days is again hovering above 2,200 LU, which we cannot meet in such condition when power is not available in the Northern Grid. We are getting 40 LU less from BBMB", said Aurn Kumar Verma, director (distribution), PSPCL. He said the PSPCL has already purchased 112 LU at Rs 3.96 per unit to meet the demand.

"But we are still on our toes. We have asked the Northern Grid authorities to increase out drawl limit to 5,400 MW," said Verma. The grid is running short by 6,600 MW because of technical snags and other reasons, and that means the state cannot overdraw and compensate.

"The grid is witnessing lower frequency, and we are unable to overdraw power. Only rain can provide relief. Otherwise, tough days are ahead," said Verma.