Despite deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal's claims of power shortage in the state being temporary and that by July end the situation will be under control, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), in anticipation of the crisis continuing till September, floated a tender for the purchase of 800mw power for that month.
The PSPCL, which declared itself to be 'power surplus' in the beginning of the year, has purchased power for more than `2000 crores under short-term power purchase agreements and unscheduled power purchase from the Northern Region Grid of the Power Grid Corporation of India.
As per the information, the purchase of the additional 800mw for September, for which the PSPCL floated tenders, is likely to cost `400 crores.
It may be noted that the PSPCL purchased 1400 mw for August and 1400 mw for July, under short-term purchase.
"As private thermal plants failed to live up to expectation this summer, we faced problems. Anticipating that the coal crisis will remain the same in September, we called for tenders to buy more power," admitted a PSPCL official requesting anonymity.
He said that the lack of monsoon upset the PSPCL's promise of power cut-free summer. It also led to restrictions on the industries, he said.
Though Punjab added private thermal plants with a combined capacity of 1980mw, their power generation is less than 1000mw.
The Talwandi Sabo plant has not been in operation since July 6, when it last produced 500mw for a day.
Despite several attempts PSPCL CMD KD Chaudhri could not be contacted for comments.