At a time when the Punjab Government is claiming to have made Punjab a power-surplus state, consumers are facing power cuts in most parts of the state as power generation at thermal plants of Punjab is suffering due to "work to rule" agitation by the power engineers.
Many parts of Punjab on Saturday faced power cuts because of tripping of power.
The engineers are on a protest against the extension of term of chairman-cum -managing director(CMD) KD Chaudhri ,terming it as violation of the tripartite act.
As per the sources, repair work of 250 MW unit no.3 of Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant, Lehra Mohabbat, is getting delayed as engineers are working only from 9 am to 5 pm that, too, on working days only.
This unit, which generates 60 lakh units daily, is in a break-down mode since March 13, and was expected to be revived on Friday but the unit could not be started even on Saturday as no engineer was on duty being a holiday.
Further, March 16 (Sunday) and March 17 (Holi) are also holidays so the unit cannot be started before March 18, when engineers will resume their duties.
Only one unit of the GNDTP, Bathinda, i.e.120 MW unit no. 3 was running which tripped on Thursday night at about 9 pm due to problem in its coal mines and could not be restarted till date due to on-going "work to rule" agitation by engineers.
The situation worsened on Saturday afternoon, when 700 MW Rajpura thermal plant also tripped. Power cuts on village and agricultural feeders have been imposed in whole of Punjab on Saturday although no cut has been imposed on urban feeders so far. The PSPCL Patiala authorities have asked for starting of one unit at Ropar and Bathinda thermal plant which were closed following less demand.
These units are not likely to be started soon as engineers are on "work to rule" protest.
Sources say in case of any grid failure or major tripping in the system during coming three days (up to Monday being holidays), a serious power crisis may engulf the region as engineers under banner of the PSEBEA has decided to work from 9am to 5pm only on working days.
When contacted, CMD KD Chaudhri said that the due to sudden decrease of 1000 MW power supply, power cuts were imposed. "I have asked the Ropar and Bathinda thermal units to start the back- up unit at earliest, so that the power demands can be met", he said .