Unscheduled power cuts have become a cause for concern for residents in both urban and rural areas, even though the power corporation claims there is an adequate supply.
To protest against unscheduled power cuts, Ludhiana residents had distributed handheld fans last week near Dholewal Chowk. Industries too are facing unscheduled power cuts of at least one and a half hours.
Inderjit Singh Navyug, president of the United Cycles Parts and Manufacturers Association, said, “We are facing unscheduled power cuts for nearly 1-2 hours every day. This causes great loss to the industry. We have asked the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to not charge us fixed meter charges for the period when they don’t supply us power. Apart from unscheduled cuts, even scheduled maintenance cuts are imposed in many areas.”
Gurmeet Singh Kular, president of the Federation of Industrial and Commercial Organisation (FICO), said,”We are always told that breakdown is the reason for an unscheduled power cut, though they claim to have sufficient power supply. If the transmission lines are not upgraded, why do they hike power tariff every year? This money is not used to upgrade the system.”
With paddy season currently underway, eight hours’ power supply has to be given to farmers free of cost. Urban residents feel this is the reason why they are feeling the heat. It was revealed that peak demand had risen to 13,700 MW this season against 12,600 MW last year.
“While 6,400 MW is being purchased from outside, the rest is being generated in the state. There is no gap in supply and demand. However, a number of our grids are overloaded, which cause tripping of transmission lines. Consumers don’t declare their exact load, which puts additional load on transformers and hence causes faults. I appeal to consumers to declare their actual load so the capacity of transformers in the area can be increased accordingly,” PSPCL CMD Baldev Singh Sran told The Indian Express.
In rain, consumers fined Rs 16.11 lakh
The Ludhiana central zone had on Wednesday conducted a raid to check overloading and power theft. In a day, they fined consumers in the circle a total of Rs 16.11 lakh. A total of 3,054 connections were checked, of which 55 cases of power theft were detected. Of these, 37 were cases related to overloading or undeclared load. Maximum fines (Rs 7.82 lakh) were imposed in sub-urban circles, which have commercial and rural connections.