Punjab has a generation capacity of 6,600 MW from its own sources, and will have to purchase the deficit from the share in the central pool.
As summers approach Punjab, an electricity crisis may be looming over the state. According to an estimate, the peak demand for electricity is said to cross the 15,000-MW mark this summer. The state has a generation capacity of 6,600 MW from its own sources, and will have to purchase the deficit from the share in the central pool.
Punjab has seen a consistent rise in the demand for power. There has been an increase of eight per cent in the peak power demand every year. The maximum demand is during the paddy season. Complains about power cuts have started coming in.
The Punjab government, on its own measure, has changed the office timings from May 2, and it hopes to save 350 MW everyday, which could then be diverted to the agriculture sector.
But the state government said that there is nothing to worry about. Speaking to the media, the state’s power minister, Harbhajan Singh ETO, said: “There is no such issue with electricity. Last year was good. There are rumours. People should not go with it. We have adequate arrangements for the supply of electricity.”
Paramjit Kaur, a senior citizen from Mohali, said there have been cuts but it could be because of the bad weather. “Comparatively, things have been better. But only in peak summers will we know about the cuts,” she said.
Recently, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said there will be no power cuts in the state this year.
However, the subsidy bill is said to be a burden to the state exchequer. During the current fiscal as well, the government has set aside Rs 20,000 crore in the budget.
Neighbouring Haryana said they only have a two per cent power deficit. Speaking to the reporters, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said: “There is a crisis every summer. The priority is agriculture and a 24-hour industry. Today we have a two percent deficit of electricity, 98 percent of which is sufficient. These are technical issues. We will fulfill the deficit if it arises.”
The summers will be the real test of the promises made.