Blaming the delay in monsoon and Power Grid Corporation for the power pangs in the state, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited has now appealed for restrictions on the use of air- conditioners. Punjab power demand has touched an all-time high of 2,244 lakh units, almost 300 lakh units short.
"I have availability of power and capacity to purchase it. But the Northern Grid is not allowing the flow of this power," claimed PSPCL CMD KD Chaudhri while appealing to the public for restricted use of air-conditioners.
"The Available Transfer Capacity (ATC) of Power Grid System is fully booked with the above arrangements made by PSPCL and it is not possible to get further power into the system," he added.
Chaudhri said that the PSPCL had made adequate arrangements for the supply of uninterrupted power to domestic, commercial and industrial sectors during summers besides eight-hour power supply to tube wells where grids were not overloaded.
Sufficient power as short-term measure has been purchased in January/February itself to meet the gap between estimated demand and availability, the CMD said.
These arrangements were made keeping in mind that monsoon would be normal. Sensing weak monsoons, additional short-term power purchase was arranged during the last week of May. PSPCL has also been purchasing 400 to 600 MW of power on day-ahead basis from the exchange to meet the additional load requirement, he added.
Due to severe dry conditions prevailing in the northern region, there was an unprecedented rise in power demand in Punjab. On July 1, the demand has touched an all-time high. Though PSPCL has made adequate power arrangement and was also willing to arrange as much additional power from the power exchange on day-ahead basis, but there were transmission constraints in flow of power from other states into Punjab, thus PSPCL was unable to meet demand, Chaudhri added.
It is pertinent to mention here that PSPCL has already imposed two-day weekly-off on all categories of industries fed from Cat-II and Cat-III feeders and power cut of 3/4 hours in domestic and commercial sectors, apart from unscheduled cuts, which now range between two to three hours since last one week.