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HindustanTimes Tue,30 Sep 2014

Power problem is temporary; to improve in 15 days: Sukhbir Badal

None  Chandigarh, July 17, 2014
First Published: 19:12 IST(17/7/2014) | Last Updated: 07:48 IST(18/7/2014)

The existing power problem in Punjab is "temporary" and it will take next 15 days to get things normalised, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said on Thursday.

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In his address to state Assembly here on issues concerning power shortage in Punjab raised by opposition Congress, Sukhbir said that the problem is "temporary" and in the next 15 days domestic as well as a agriculture sector will get rid of this problem.

"In the next 15 days, the domestic supply will be for 24 hours and farmers will get eight hours of assured power supply in a day," he said.

Earlier, leader of opposition Sunil Kumar Jakhar had sought a "white paper" from the state government on the issue of power "shortage".

Sukhbir gave a detailed reply on the floor of the House assuring things will be "normalised" in the next 15 days as the problem is "temporary."

He, however, said the Congress led UPA government's failure to create additional fuel capacity had led to under performance by thermal plants in the state and that this had created the recent power shortage even though Punjab had achieved power surplus status in thermal capacity.

Explaining the entire gamut of power operations in Punjab besides detailing the "discrimination" the State had experienced at the hands of the UPA, the deputy CM said despite repeated memorandums and personal appeals by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, the UPA government did not increase the coal supply to Punjab to cater to the new thermal capacity created in the State.

He said as much as 1,546 MW of thermal capacity was not been tapped due to paucity of coal.

He said with the NDA government in power at the Centre, things were improving.

In the last few days itself the coal ministry had increased coal supply to the thermal plants in the state, Badal said, adding that it had also agreed to give tapering coal supply to the Talwandi Sabo plant which was in operational right now.

He said these steps had already improved the power situation in the State and that it would normalise completely soon.

Producing "facts of power supply" in Vidhan Sabha, he said there was 5,700 MW gross installed capacity in 2002, which had been enhanced to 6201 MW in 2007 against the power demand of 4,936 MW and 8,672 MW, respectively.

He informed when SAD-BJP took over in 2007 there was a gap of 2,471 MW between generation and consumption.

Relentless efforts being made by the state government has resulted in addition of 4231 mw in gross installed capacity including 500 MW at Lehra Mohabbat, Rajpura 1,400 mw, Talwandi Sabo 660 mw and 2,503 MW in center-state Long Term Power Purchase Agreements.

Besides, the state was also building up generation capacity of 2,084 MW, he said.

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