Punjab strong claimant for nuclear plant

Undoubtedly, Punjab is the strongest claimant for a nuclear plant. As it is far away from coal fields, the freight is costlier than coal. Punjab has no hydel resources. Bereft of all sources of power generation, nuclear generation is the only alternative.

Power consumption in Punjab is highest in the country. The maximum demand for power has increased from 1,350 lakh units per day in 2004 to 1,500 lakh units in 2005. Continued power shortage would adversely affect food production and become a serious problem for the country. A nuclear plant becomes financially viable only if it can operate at an average plant load factor (PLF) of 90 per cent or above.

This is possible only if adequate hydel power is available for peak loads. Luckily, Punjab has nearly 1,000 MW hydro capacity of its own, apart from its share in the BBMB projects. This can sustain a nuclear plant of about 2,000 MW operating at 90 per cnt PLF.

If the BBMB hydro generation is taken into consideration, another 4,000 MW nuclear capacity can be financially viable in the region comprising Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

HARBANS SINGH, Former PSEB Chairman, Bassi Kalan (Hoshiarpur)



I have been drawing the energy planners’ attention to consider the urgent need for setting up a nuclear power plant in Punjab. It is heartening to note that Sardar Shamsher Singh Dullo, President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee has sought the Prime Minister’s intervention in this regard.

To bridge the yawning gap between demand and supply of energy, I am sure, the public would contribute liberally. Given an opportunity, rich NRIs in the USA, Canada and Europe will offer a helping hand to the state government. The proposal needs to be accorded the highest priority in the development schemes of the state.

BALVINDER SINGH, IFS (retd), Malhipur (Ludhiana)

Encourage dairy farming

The fast depletion of the water- table in Punjab is a matter of concern. Lifting of water for greater depth by submersible pumps will add to the cost of production due to excessive consumption of electricity and diesel. This will reduce the margin of net economic returns from the paddy-wheat rotation cropping system in vogue.

The farmers should either delay the transplantation of paddy or to shift to other new crops like soybean. Dairy farming has the potential of giving maximum economic returns. It will help improve the health of the people and the soil and arrest the decline in water table.

The Punjab government should encourage dairy farming to ensure procurement of milk at an assured price throughout the year by fixing minimum remunerative support price for milk on the paddy-wheat pattern and by offering incentives like soft bank loans for the purchase of high yielding animals and dairy equipment.

Dr J.S. DHILLON, Former Dean (PAU), Ludhiana

Support price

This has reference to the news item “Cotton farmers not getting MSP”. It is a strange condition. MSP means minimum support price but purchasers treat it as maximum support price. Even sellers (farmers) do not seem to be clear about the concept.

The farmers desperately want that their product is lifted as soon as it arrives in the mandi. That is why, they sell it for whatever price offered. Once the MSP is announced, the government should ensure that no farmer sells it below MSP.

Prof P.K. GUPTA, Bathinda

Registrar of companies

About 10 years back, a decision was taken to shift the Registrar of Companies’ office from Jalandhar to Chandigarh. The workload has increased immensely today with more and more companies, chartered accountants and company secretaries.

The Centre should open some more offices as extension counters covering Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh UT under the charge of an Assistant ROC to cope with the rush. These counters should be opened at Ludhiana, Chandigarh and Bathinda.

The Jalandhar office should continue as earlier. All the offices should be interlinked and documents could be received at any of the offices including the one at Jalandhar.

S.K. HANS, Jalandhar

Bist Doab Canal

The Bist Doab Canal is in a very bad condition from Garhshanker to Adampur. It has cleavages at many places. Accidents occur frequently due to the broken railing of the bridges. The department concerned does not care about maintenance and repair of the canal. The villagers request the authorities concerned to maintain the canal properly.


SBI monopoly

Hundreds of students thronged Panjab University’s SBI branch for NET forms recently. Students standing in long queues were curtly told by the officials at 3 pm to go to other SBI branches as they could not issue demand drafts following connectivity failure. Many students couldn’t deposit their forms before 4.30 pm.

Why should the UGC authorities assign the task of issuing the forms to the SBI only? Given an opportunity, private banks will handle this task more efficiently than the SBI.



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