A day after deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal claimed that the state would be power surplus, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has estimated overall power shortage of 19.7% in the state in 2013-14. It has projected 25.6% power deficit in peak load hours.
The CEA, in its annual report, has put the estimated power demand in Punjab at 50,850 million units (MU) against availability of 40,819 MU in the current year. The state had faced a shortage of 5.3% last year. In contrast, Haryana will have excess power. Last year, power deficit in Haryana was more as compared to Punjab.
Ironically, the deputy CM, while announcing the new industrial policy on Monday, had reiterated that Punjab would be power surplus in 2013 itself.
The CEA has made the assessment on the basis of availability from various stations in operation and upcoming generating units in states. The report anticipated commissioning of one unit each at upcoming Goindwal Sahib and Talwandi Sabo thermal plants in June 2013 and January 2014, respectively.
As the Goindwal Sahib project has got delayed by more than three months, the power shortage is likely to be more than the CEA projections. During paddy season, power deficit in Punjab is estimated to be over 25% for the months of June, July and August and about 20% for September and October, according to the report. Haryana will be power deficit in August and October, though.
The report has indicated an overall energy shortage of 6.7% and a peak shortage of 2.3% in the country in 2013-14.