Punjab News

Power outages spark protests across Punjab

Chandigarh, July 2

Amid an unprecedented hike in demand for power, unscheduled cuts were reported from various parts of the state today.

This despite the fact that the industry has been forced to shut down for two days to divert all available power to the agriculture sector, which too received just six-seven hour supply despite being promised eight hours. As a result, widespread protests by agriculture and domestic power consumers were reported today.

Pvt plants meet 22% demand

  • The three private power plants at Rajpura, Talwandi Sabo and Goindwal Sahib generated 3,039 MW of power on Friday
  • While 22% of the state’s power demand was met by the three private plants, the state’s own power generation (thermal and hydro) contributed to meeting just 18% (2495 MW)

The unscheduled cuts today, ranging from three to four hours, were reported more in Doaba and Majha regions, while Malwa region had some relief in the wake of protests against erratic supply in the past three days.

The demand for power today was 13,600 MW. The government claims it could save almost 1,000 MW by imposing restrictions. “The supply to agriculture consumers today was about 5,500 MW, up by more than 1,000 MW yesterday. There were no scheduled power cuts in the state and if there were disruptions in supply, it could be because of local technical snags in transmission lines,” said PSPCL Chairman A Venu Prasad.

While one unit of Talwandi Sabo plant continued to be shut because of a technical snag, the unit of the state-owned thermal plant at Ropar, which was shut down yesterday, became operational today. However, the other unit of Ropar power plant developed a snag. As a result, the state’s own thermal power generation today was 1,605 MW and its hydropower generation was 890 MW.

 

Almost 7,591 MW was arranged from outside the state (from central sector through power banking and also purchasing power on the power exchange). Renewable energy contributed 400 MW to the surging demand today.

Considering the rising power demand, Prasad said they had written to the Centre to increase their transmission capacity from the present 7,400 MW to 7,800-8,000 MW.