Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday called on union power minister Sushil kumar Shinde, seeking additional power allocation of at least 1,000 megawatts (MW) from the central quota for ensuring eight-hour uninterrupted power supply to the agricultural sector during the ongoing paddy season.
The chief minister, who met Shinde in Delhi, also urged him to enhance the available transmission capacity from 5,100 MW to at least 5,500 MW for Punjab so that the arranged power could flow to the state.
Badal told Shinde that the state had already purchased power from other sources at exorbitant rates to meet the paddy farmers' demand.
The CM said Punjab had already initiated several power projects to generate a total of 3,920 MW, but till these were completed, the state needed to procure power from external sources.
Punjab chief parliamentary secretary, irrigation, Sohan Singh Thandal has demanded that the Centre declare Punjab a calamity-hit state due to the inadequate monsoon.The monsoon has been eluding paddy growers for nearly a month now, he said. Thandal also demanded an economic package for the state to bail out farmers and the state's economy.