The weatherman has predicted a slight drop in daytime temperature, but power cuts won't let you breathe easy at noon either. Worse, nights are turning warmer.
The UT electricity department has decided to impose rotational cuts in the city during peak hours. That means outages of 30 minutes to an hour between 1 pm and 3pm on weekdays. Weekends and nights have so far been spared. The schedule will come out in day or two, though cuts in all likelihood will begin before that.
Against the average load of about 150 MW a day, Chandigarh's requirement touched 340 MW on May 24, highest for the season so far. Last year, the maximum peak load was recorded at 363 MW, while this summer may take th figure to 400MW. The peak is only rising over the years -- the prediction is 439 MW by 2016-17.
UT superintending engineer MP Singh handed out the reasons for the power cuts, "We have been forced to take the call to avoid overheating of transformers due to the rise in temperature. If we don't take preventive measures, there are chances of a major breakdown." During the last summer season, overloading of existing transformers was observed to be more than 95%, and rational power cuts had to be imposed to save the equipment from damage.
Though the superintending engineer claimed power cuts were not imposed due to shortage, sources said there is a shortfall of 90MW. For this season, the UT will shell out Rs 76 crore to purchase power from different sources, while in the last fiscal it was Rs 72 crore.
The power requirement of the city is met through central generating power stations (CGS) as determined by the government.
At present, the power load of Chandigarh is fed from Kishangarh-based 3x100 MVA power transformers, SAS Nagar's 2x80 MVA and a 66-KV line from Dhulkote.
Recently, the administration got approval from the standing committee on power system planning (CPSP) of northern region for setting up a new 220-KV power sub-station. At present, Chandigarh has only one 220-KV sub-station at Kishangarh. The department is also planning a 220-KV line from Sector 47 to Panchkula 400/220-KV sub-station of Powergrid for strengthening transmission.
Rain might just help, and have been predicted too. Hope for the Met department to prove correct, and for the power department to correct its course then!
Come rain, come thunder
Chandigarh: The meteorological centre has predicted temperatures to come down due to possibility of dust- and thunderstorms towards the evening on Monday. In the longer run, the nights are going to get warmer though, and rain looks distant.
Maximum temperature on Sunday (42.8°C) was four notches below normal, but the minimum was recorded at 30, which was six notches above normal. "The night temperatures have risen considerably due to the constant heat wave and also the rising humidity during the daytime. But it may rain at isolated places in the region which will affect the weather of the city too," said an official of the department.
Moisture-laden winds will also result in cloudy weather and temperature fluctuation. "There will be some cloud cover, but we don't see rain in the near future," added the official.