February 26, 2009 12:54:04 am
Even as the State Cabinet had approved the grant of Rs 6,000 crore to the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) for purchasing power last week,it looks like another summer of powercuts for Punjab.
The forthcoming polls have created uncertainty over the availability of power from the states as they are uncertain about selling it. The situation is likely to be critical till May and will ease only by June, said Principal Secretary,Power,Suresh Kumar on Wednesday.
While Punjab had purchased power from Karnataka,Rajasthan and Orissa last year,these states may be reluctant to sell power in the poll months.
The scheduled powercuts and peak load restrictions will depend on how much power the state is able to have in its kitty this year,added Kumar.
While industries reeling under prolonged powercuts in the state cannot be assured of better supply this summer,PSEB will streamline the system to provide information on planned shutdowns. The industrial users will be informed about the scheduled powercuts through English and Punjabi newspapers every Saturday,Kumar said while interacting with the industry at the PHD Chamber.
Since the demand of the farm sector will go down in March,the PSEB will release its summer plan for the coming months by mid-March.
PSEBs legal status restored,financial position unsustainable
While the legal status of the PSEB has been restored,its financial position has become unsustainable. Its debt liabilities stand at a staggering Rs 7,334 crore despite making a revenue of Rs 11,000 crore annually. The board has also been bearing the burden of subsidy,which has reached Rs 2,602 crore for 2008-09. The state is still to clear its dues of Rs 300 crore.
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