Unlike every year, Chandigarh may not be able to draw additional power from Jammu and Kashmir this summer and would have to depend on other sources to meet the peak demand. The J&K government would lend 30 megawatt (MW) to Chandigarh and sometimes even 45 MW during summers and would retrieve the same during winters from UT. The J&K government has outstanding dues of Rs 18 lakh per month that are required to be paid as wheeling charges to the National Load Dispatch Centre (NLDC). J&K has not paid the dues for two months. Wheeling charges is the amount paid for transportation of electric power over transmission lines of the grid.
Superintending engineer M P Singh said: “If not Jammu and Kashmir, there are other sources from where surplus power can be purchased. We will float tenders in the power exchange where those with surplus power sell it. There would be no problem of electricity in Chandigarh.”
Sources said the UT power department was planning to purchase additional power of around Rs 40 crore. The peak demand reaches 450 MW in summers, while the capacity is only 260 MW.
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The electricity department does not have its own power generation source and buys power through its allocation from the central generating stations (CGS): the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC), National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) and Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Ltd (THDC).
S K Kaul, superintending engineer, Jammu and Kashmir power department, confirmed that the wheeling charges could not be paid. “We will pay the charges soon to the NLDC,” he said. UT would even draw up to 45 MW sometimes when there is a lot of shortage of power in summers. A senior official of the UT power department said: “If power from J & K does not come, it would be difficult to manage. When there is excess load, even 10 megawatt matters and there is no option but to hold power cuts.”
On an average, the city consumes around 1,806 million units (MU) in a year and 4.94 MU on a daily basis. The department caters to 2.12 lakh consumers, of whom 1.75 lakh are in the domestic category.
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