M A I N   N E W S

No power for industry in Haryana
Farm sector to get more
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
All industrial units having a load of 1 MW and above in Haryana will not get any power for the next one week as the power situation in the state has gone from bad to worse. The other industrial units will also not get any power for two days in a week.

The Haryana power utilities, which are hard pressed to meet the sudden surge in demand for power following the failure of the monsoon, announced these drastic measures today as part of their exercise to regulate the power supply in the state. The demand for power has shot up from 600 lakh units per day to 800 lakh units a day.

The power distribution companies, the Uttar Haryana Bijlee Vitran Nigam and the Dakshin Haryana Bijlee Vitran Nigam, would give a schedule of scattered closure to the industrial units in their areas of operation.

The power utilites have also decided that no air conditioners would be run in government offices for the next one week. Neon signs and other display lights used by commercial organisations would also be banned for a week. During this period the street lights would also remain switched off.

The Labour Department has been asked to ensure that all shops close at 8 p.m. sharp as a measure to save power.

Earlier, the power utilities had imposed a three-hour power cut in urban areas and a 10-hour power cut for industries. But consumers say that in addition to scheduled power cuts, the power remains switched off for major part of the day. Frequent trippings only add to the woes of the consumers.

However, the utilities have decided to increase the power supply from eight hours to 10 hours every day to the agriculture sector. This is being done to save the paddy crop from adverse effects of the "drought-like situation" in the region. The additional two-hour supply to the agriculture sector would be available for the next week, after which the situation would be reviewed.

The utilities would also ensure power supply was available for drinking water in the mornings and evenings.

In the urban areas power for lighting purposes would be ensured from 7 pm to 6 a.m. and 12 noon to 5 p.m.

To meet the shortfall in supply, the power utilities are purchasing power worth about Rs 16 crore a day from various sources through bilateral contracts. It is getting additional power from Himachal Pradesh and Orissa. However, there is still a shortfall of about 100 lakh units a day.

Haryana has also urged the Union Power Ministry to allocate 200 MW to the state for the next two months from its pool. The response of the Ministry is not known.

Informed sources say if the rain gods do not come to the rescue of the state, the duration and frequency of the scheduled power cuts would go up in the coming days, with demand from the agriculture sector also showing no signs of let up.

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