HT Image
HT Image

Far from surplus: Punjab’s power cuts are now official too

After sporadic unscheduled power cuts in several towns, it’s now official that “power-surplus” Punjab is resorting to cuts much earlier than the outage-heavy paddy season this year. Owing primarily to the coal shortage that has hit electricity generation at its thermal plants.
By Vishal Rambani | Hindustan Times, Patiala
UPDATED ON MAY 20, 2014 07:38 AM IST

After sporadic unscheduled power cuts in several towns, it’s now official that “power-surplus” Punjab is resorting to cuts much earlier than the outage-heavy paddy season this year.


Owing primarily to the coal shortage that has hit electricity generation at its thermal plants, the ‘official’ power cuts of this summer started on Saturday, as the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) imposed three-hours cuts in the Kandi areas and two-hour cuts in the villages.

Unscheduled cuts ranging from half to one hour in urban areas continue. Also, with the demand rising, the corporation has had to purchase power on high rates from outside resources.

Because of shortage of coal — a payment dispute with the supplier has been resolved only temporarily — seven of the 14 thermal units of the three state-owned power plants are not operating. On Monday, the PSPCL purchased 57 lakh units at Rs 3.96 per unit.

Usually, cuts start in the paddy season when peak demand nears 10,000 MW. This time, the PSPCL has started outages even when demand is near 5,000 MW.

“And if the monsoon is not good, peak summer will present a challenge,” said an official, admitting on the condition of anonymity that “though the state government claims that two plants have come up, the reality is that only 660 MW power from Rajpura has been added”.

“The Talwandi sabo plant is not expected to start operating before the end of June.” After inaugurating Talwandi Sabo and Rajpura plants months ago, the SAD-BJP government had declared Punjab power-surplus and promised a summer without cuts.

But the PSPCL in the first week of May called tenders to purchase 2,000 MW for the summer under short-term agreements.

As per the schedule of the PSPCL, the state’s demand on Sunday, May 18, was 1,095 lakh units, while supply was 1,083, so cuts had to be imposed.

On May 16, cuts had to the PSPCL was unable to bridge a gap of 34 lakh units; and on May 17 cuts were imposed to restrict the demand that was 7 lakh units above availability.

On Sunday, the corporation purchased 609 lakh units as one unit at Bathinda and could not be restarted after engineers refused to work beyond their working hours.

The engineers are on a ‘work to rule’ protest against the extension given to the PSPCL chairman-cum-managing director (CMD).

Meanwhile, the coal crisis that started in April remains only partly resolved. Against a demand of six rakes daily, Panem Coal Mines, the firm that sells PSPCL its coal from a mine in Jharkhand, is sending only two.

The matter is stuck over Panem’s demand of 100 per tonne hike in the price earlier agreed upon, apart from 6 crore daily as railway freight.

A PSPCL committee had referred the matter for legal opinion, and the final decision is expected on Tuesday.Despite several attempts, PSPCL CMD KD Chaudhri was not available for comments.

But PSPCL director (distribution) KL Shar ma admitted that the corporation had imposed cuts, saying that the situation had arisen as demand was fluctuating because of change in weather.

“Sometimes the demand slips to 2,000 MW and then it reaches 5,000 MW. We can’t operate all units in such a situation, as we cannot waste resources. So, sometimes the PSPCL imposes minor cuts, and sometimes purchases power from outside,” he told HT, claiming, “Once the demand stabilises, we will start all the plants.

There is no severe coal crisis.” He, however, failed to promise a cut-free summer: “It depends on the demand-and-supply rule and the monsoon. We are hoping the Talwandi Sabo plant will ease the situation June onwards.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
At the Law college ground, Stadium Cricket Club defeated Sahamat Cricket Club by 24 runs in a group stage match. (Kalpesh Nukte/HT PHOTO)
At the Law college ground, Stadium Cricket Club defeated Sahamat Cricket Club by 24 runs in a group stage match. (Kalpesh Nukte/HT PHOTO)

Women’s T20 cricket league has NextGen female cricketers playing for keeps

By Jigar Hindocha
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 04:59 PM IST
Pune: The Girls Sadu Shinde Cricket League (T20), being played at the Law college ground has little fanfare, hype or buzz associated with the shortest form of international cricket
Close
After a 12-year long wait, within months of the Covid-19 pandemic, the requirements of the city forced the administration to upgrade the much-needed facility. (Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)
After a 12-year long wait, within months of the Covid-19 pandemic, the requirements of the city forced the administration to upgrade the much-needed facility. (Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)

0-30 in no time: ventilators, that is... How Pune civic hospital infra revved up

By Steffy Thevar
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 04:37 PM IST
Naidu hospital was the first-response hospital against Covid-19, but had to depend on Sassoon hospital for the treatment of critical Covid-19 patients, as it did not have a critical care unit
Close
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao gets blessings as he visits Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, in Yadadri on Thursday. (ANI Photo)
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao gets blessings as he visits Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, in Yadadri on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

'Budget 2021-22 will distribute 3 lack sheep units to families' : Telangana CM

ANI, Hyderabad
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 09:38 AM IST
The CM said the Centre appreciated the Sheep distribution policy and it also recognized that the Telangana state is progressing to become the most Sheep populated state and against this backdrop, the scheme would be continued.
Close
A Rohingya woman shows her UN-issued refugee card in Jammu on Saturday. (HT PHOTO)
A Rohingya woman shows her UN-issued refugee card in Jammu on Saturday. (HT PHOTO)

155 Rohingyas sent to ‘holding’ centre in Jammu as admin starts verification

UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 05:39 AM IST
The exercise of identifying more such immigrants is going on and the UT administration is collecting biometric and other details of Rohingyas staying here.
Close
Himachal CM Jai Ram Thakur before the budget presentation in Himachal Vidhan Sabha on Saturday. (DEEPAK SANSTA/HT)
Himachal CM Jai Ram Thakur before the budget presentation in Himachal Vidhan Sabha on Saturday. (DEEPAK SANSTA/HT)

Jai Ram presents 50,192 cr tax-free budget for Himachal

By Gaurav Bisht, Shimla
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 12:58 AM IST
At a time when the state’s economy has been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur, who also holds the finance portfolio, presented a 50,192-crore budget with no new taxes, on Saturday
Close
In the past six days, a total of 20,872 beneficiaries have been vaccinated, of which 3,376 are those in the age group of 45-59 with comorbidities; and 27,704 of those above the age of 60. (HT PHOTO)
In the past six days, a total of 20,872 beneficiaries have been vaccinated, of which 3,376 are those in the age group of 45-59 with comorbidities; and 27,704 of those above the age of 60. (HT PHOTO)

6 days of vaccinations with not a single adverse effect; 20K beneficiaries vaccinated in Pune dist

By Steffy Thevar
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 04:13 PM IST
The civic body has opened 69 vaccination centres in the city as of Saturday, which was only four on the first day of phase two of the vaccination drive
Close
HT Image
HT Image

PMC to use volunteers from NGOs to help smoothen vax drive

By HTC
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 08:15 PM IST
PUNE: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will seek to take the help of non-government organisations and various other institutes to boost the vaccination numbers in the city
Close
Pune city reported 991 new cases, which takes the count to 2,14,029. Two new deaths took the death toll to 4,589. (Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)
Pune city reported 991 new cases, which takes the count to 2,14,029. Two new deaths took the death toll to 4,589. (Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)

Pune district’s active Covid cases nears 20K mark; 1,925 new cases on Saturday

By HTC
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 04:15 PM IST
The progressive count of the district currently stands at 4,19,162, of which, 3,91,411 have recovered
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Average positivity rate in Pune up from 5.8% in Jan to 15% in March

By Steffy Thevar
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:52 PM IST
PUNE The rate of infection of Covid-19 in the district has been rising, evident from the positivity rate
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Blood banks unable to meet plasma demand with shortage of donors

By Jigar Hindocha
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:16 PM IST
PUNE With a rising demand for plasma in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, blood banks are facing a crunch, given shortage of plasma donors
Close
A case of cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy, under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Information Technology Act was registered at Chaturshringi police station in August 2018. (HT PHOTO)
A case of cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy, under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Information Technology Act was registered at Chaturshringi police station in August 2018. (HT PHOTO)

Cosmos Bank case: Pune police write to the UAE to hand over custody of Sumer Shaikh

By Shalaka Shinde
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 04:40 PM IST
Shaikh, a native of Mumbai, is one of the key accused in the case where multiple cards of Cosmos Bank were cloned and funds to the tune of 94 crore was withdrawn within a short period
Close
HT Image
HT Image

65,000 nails removed from trees in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad

By Jigar Hindocha
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 06:53 PM IST
PUNE ‘Don’t just plant a tree but protect and respect it’ – A short and strong message is being spread by Angolichi Goli, a city-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), which has removed 1
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Startup mantra: Women entrepreneurs who hacked the glass ceiling... and beyond

By Salil Urunkar
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 01:13 PM IST
PUNE Stepping into business, managing personal life, scaling the business is easier said than done
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Lucky draw for farmers who gave land for airport

By Vinod Rajput, Greater Noida
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2021 11:31 PM IST
The Yamuna Expressway industrial development authority (Yeida) and the Gautam Budh Nagar district administration will hold a draw on Saturday to allot property to farmers who gave their land for the Noida International Airport project at Jewar
Close
Ludhiana woman posing as post office agent dupes 87-year-old of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>11.6 lakh
Ludhiana woman posing as post office agent dupes 87-year-old of 11.6 lakh

Ludhiana woman posing as post office agent dupes 87-year-old of 11.6 lakh

By HT Correspondent, Ludhiana
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 10:56 PM IST
After the family received no benefits, they checked with the post office and found there was no account in the name of the elderly woman
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP