Punjab revenue and public relations minister Bikram Singh Majithia on Monday said Punjab could not be blamed for failure of the northern grid. He said states such as Haryana and Uttar Pradesh ignored the guidelines and overdrew power from the northern grid owing to political reasons.
Putting forward Punjab's case on behalf of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in a meeting called by union power minister Veerappa Moily to discuss the strategy to discipline the overdrawal from the grids, Majithia said Punjab despite being the agrarian state consuming power mostly for its paddy sowing operations, had acted in a most disciplined manner.
He said that understanding the gravity of the power crisis being faced by the country, Punjab is the only state to have banned the use of air-conditioners in its offices and offices of boards and corporations besides rescheduling the time of offices to decrease the load of power consumption.He said Punjab had made advance purchase of power in January and February itself anticipating a growth of 10% in power demand and had arranged 3,129 MUs for Rs 1,223 crore.
He said though the met department predicted a normal monsoon, Punjab bought 1,075 MUs for Rs 423 crore. He said fearing a severe drought Punjab had called tenders for additional power of 500 MUs for August to October. He said that till date Punjab had bought power worth Rs 7,000 crore.
He said that according to estimates Punjab was buying additional power worth Rs 1,531 crore over and above the normal purchase due to failure of monsoon and the Centre should reimburse this amount to Punjab as it had been spent by Punjab for the food security of the country.
Expressing concern over the wrong and mischievous propaganda regarding the grid failure due to overdrawal by Punjab, Majithia said that at the time of the grid failure, the overdrawal by Punjab was 1.23% against the habitual overdrawal of Haryana at 22.4% and Uttar Pradesh at 6.4%, that was being ignored by the power ministry.