M A I N   N E W S

Punjab plunges into power crisis
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 8
The eluding monsoon coupled with silting up of turbines of the Nathpa Jhakri and Baspa hydel projects of Himachal Pradesh has triggered a severe power crisis in Punjab at a time when demand for power has been rising daily due to paddy cultivation and the rising mercury.

The power crisis which has hit Punjab is so severe that the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) authorities have been left with no other option but to impose unscheduled and unannounced power cuts in all sectors, besides weekly cuts on induction furnace industries.

Senior officials of the PSEB said they were helpless and were looking to the Almighty to bail them out of this unprecedented power crisis where demand had exceeded 1700 lakh units per day.

Mr Jyotinder Singh, Chief Engineer (Systems Operations and Communications), PSEB, said the Nathpa Jakhri and Baspa hydel projects were closed down by the authorities again today after silt deposited in their turbines, hence depriving Punjab of 340 MW of power.

He added that Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh Governments had stopped giving 175 MW and 150 MW power respectively to Punjab under the banking system arrangements, as both these states had also started facing a power crisis.

Mr Jyotinder added that nearly 700 MW of power had been abruptly withdrawn from Punjab's kitty. They had made an appeal to all private power producers to sell power to Punjab.

To tide over the crises, the PSEB had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Gujaratís Ambuja Cement, under which the PSEB would buy 6 MW of power from the company daily.





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