July 6, 2021 9:23:34 pm
With Punjab’s gap in demand and supply of electricity persisting, power regulatory measures on large industries are set to continue at least for three more days, officials said.
Large scale industries with load above 100 KW in category 1, 2 and 3 located in Central Zone, North Zone and West Zone of Punjab will continue facing compulsory weekly offs from 8am of July 7 to 8am of July 10. In addition to this, continuous supply units located in these zones will be able to use only 50% of the sanctioned load from 8am of July 8 to 8am of July 18. Steel rolling mills and furnaces will also observe compulsory weekly offs from July 7 to July 10.
This will be the second time that compulsory weekly offs are enforced on several large industries. Earlier, all heavy industries in Central (including those in Ludhiana district, sub-divisions Khanna Sirhind, Mandi Gobindgarh, and Amloh), and those in North (Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, and Phagwara districts) zones were off from 2pm of July 1 to 2pm of July 4.
After a gap of three days, these heavy industries have been told to shut down their units again for a second time, much to the chagrin of their owners.
Heavy industries in the West Zone, including those in districts of Bathinda, Muktsar Faridkot, Ferozepur, Moga, and Mansa, will face the shut down for the first time from Wednesday.
Talking to The Indian Express PSPCL chairman-cum-managing director A Venuprasad, said, “Power regulatory measures may stay for another 3 days.”
PSPCL also has its hopes trained on the weather, with MeT department officials predicting that the state may start receiving rains by this weekend that may go a long way in easing out the situation and doing away with all regulatory measures imposed on industries.
Meanwhile, it also needs to be mentioned that PSPCL was earlier entitled to buy 7300 MW of power from the National Regulatory Load Dispatch Centre (NRLDC). This has now been increased to 7500 MW, as two units of Talwandi Sabo thermal plant — generating 1320 MW are out of order — while a hydel unit of Ranjit Sagar Dam — generating 150 MW — lies defunct. On Tuesday, after imposing all restrictions, there was a shortfall of around 13267 MW in the state. “There is a gap of over 1000MW power in demand and supply at present and so regulatory measures are the only answer,” said a PSPCL employee, on condition of anonymity.
The regulation of power supply to industries in face of a shortfall is not new, with the state having witnessed even stricter restrictions during the 2012 paddy season under the SAD-BJP rule and also in the summer of 2006, when Amarinder Singh-led Congress government was in power.
“Earlier we remember, apart from weekly offs on industries, even markets used to shut early and use of ACs were banned in government offices. Regulatory measures were imposed on all types of industries. We feel that the cultivation of paddy has too many side effects on the overall state’s economy and consumers who pay their power bills are told to shut their units.” said Badish Jindal; president of the Federation of Small Scale Industries Association.
KK Garg, president of North India Induction Furnace Association, said, “In July, we operated our units only for 3 days and now again we have been told to observe compulsory offs. Why will any industry owner come to Punjab to invest if this is the situation. This is the situation every year. They are not giving MSP to crops other than wheat -paddy and hence are not able to break this cycle. Paddy is not only reducing groundwater but also causing a power crisis in Punjab. In fact, Punjab has not enough corridors to buy more power from NRLDC as all these years, they never focused on infrastructure development.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.