Powercuts have returned to haunt the people of Punjab after a one-day breather. Though the duration was reduced from five hours to three hours on Thursday,the residents are disappointed over the shortlived luxury of 24-hour power supply.
Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) authorities said special instructions had been issued to not impose powercuts for a day,for which even the banking of power with the neighbouring states was not allowed Punjab gives its power to other states in winters and takes it back in summers.
With Sukhbir Badal swearing in as the Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab on Wednesday,it was alleged that the PSEB had withdrawn all cuts for a day because it wanted to please Badal by letting people watch the swearing-in ceremony on their television sets. Powercuts are imposed during afternoon hours across the state.
PSEB chairman H S Brar had,however,said on Wednesday that it was a mere coincidence that the swearing-in took place the same day. According to him,no cut was imposed because the power situation was normal due to the recent rainfall.
The situation was,however,back to square one even before 24 hours had passed.
According to sources,a total of 135 lakh units of power were given to the neighbouring states on Thursday. This arrangement,and the powercuts too,will now continue.
With the agriculture load,which remained less due to rains in the past few days,expected to go up now,the cuts may,in fact,increase in the coming days.
Weekly offs on industry reduced
On the demand from the industry,PSEB chairman H S Brar has reduced the compulsory weekly offs imposed on industry from two to one. This will be effective from January 25. They will,however,have increased peak-hour restrictions from three hours to five every day. The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings has asked the PSEB that the peak-hour restrictions should also be withdrawn.