Residents can hope of being spared power cuts this summer as the Chandigarh electricity department will buy 30 MW of power from Jammu and Kashmir between 6am and 10pm, the peak hours from May to August. The power will be returned in November and December between 10pm to 6am, when it is surplus here.
UT superintending engineer MP Singh said that the additional power will approximately cover the shortfall and help in ensuring uninterrupted power supply. "We will not have to purchase additional power from other sources," he said.
Chandigarh had entered into a similar agreement with Jammu and Kashmir in 2012 for supply of 30-MW during the peak summer season. "The state failed to keep its commitment. As a result, the department procured additional power from the open market at higher rates," Singh added.
Records show that maximum peak load of Chandigarh is about 363 MW and is projected to rise to 439 MW by 2016-17. The power load is fed from Kishangarh-based 3x100 MVA power transformers, SAS Nagar's 2x80 MVA and 66-KV line from Dhulkote. There are 2.5 lakh consumers, of which 1.75 lakh fall in the domestic category.
According to a petition filed by the department before the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC), on an average, the city consumes around 1,806 million units (MU) in a year and 4.94 MUs daily. Sources claimed that the department has failed to develop infrastructure to meet its requirement, which has led to disruptions in power supply.
During the past few summers, overloading of existing transformers has been observed at more than 95% of the capacity, which is a violation of the JERC guideline that mandates transformer load to be maintained at less than 80% of capacity.