P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Renovated BBMB turbine damaged
24 MW additional loss to Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, September 2
Another newly renovated BBMB turbine at Kotla power house has been damaged increasing the loss of generation to more than 50 MW. The sources told The Tribune that the runner blade of the turbine has developed a deep crack due to which the generation from the turbine had to be stopped causing a generation loss of 25 MW to partner states—Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

According to sources the repair of the damaged turbine could take months as its runner would have to be replaced. This will mean more bad news for the power starved states like Punjab and Haryana.

Already a turbine at Ganguwal has been down for renovation. The Dehar power project of the BBMB had stopped generation after water entered it due to a rupture in protection shield.

Earlier in June this year a renovated turbine at Ganguwal power house of BBMB had got damaged. Both the damaged turbines were renovated by Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd. (BHEL).

The damage to two recently renovated turbines has put a question mark on the renovation of smoothly working old turbines carried out by the organisation. The organisation in the recent past has spent crores on renovating old turbines in Ganguwal and Kotla power houses. The Ganguwal and Kotla power houses of the BBMB are located on the Nangal hydel mainline canal. The generation at the power house is at its peak in this season as water at its full capacity is released in the canal.

The turbines had been giving trouble ever since their renovation was completed by the BHEL. It was proposed that the after renovation the generation capacity of the turbines would be increased to 25.2 MW. However, the generation of renovated turbines never reached the proposed target. Due to this the generation capacity of the turbines was set at 24 MW at a board meeting. The PSEB authorities as members of the board demanded that BHEL should be penalised for the loss of generation.

Besides the generation loss the renovated turbines also kept on giving technical problems. Due to problems in runners vibrations in turbines are more than normal. The sources inside the power houses told that if generation from renovated turbines was increased to optimum then oil started leaking from the seals.

The other turbines of the Ganguwal and Kotla power houses are being renovated by Japanese company Hitachi.

The renovation of turbines at right hand bank power house of Bhakra was carried out by the Russian company that had originally supplied the turbines.


Water level at Bhakra near full
Tribune News Service

Ropar, September 2
With continuous rainfall in the region, the discharge of water into the downstream of headworks here had been increased, while the release of water into the Sirhind canal was stopped today as the demand of water for irrigation declined in parts of Punjab. Significantly water level at the Bhakra Dam was rising every day. The water level at the Bhakra Dam stood at 1676.28 feet today, just four feet less than its maximum capacity of 1680 feet.

Although the situation is not alarming, people living in the low-lying areas in the downstream of the district and also till Harike could face havoc if the rainfall continued in the district and upper parts of Himachal Pradesh as the discharge of water from the dam would be increased.

In downstream headworks that regulate the river water here the release of water was increased to 21,000 cusecs while yesterday the outflow from it was 3,800 cusecs. The inflow into the Bhakra Dam was registered 31,898 cusecs while the outflow was 22, 865 cusecs this morning. About 20,000 cusecs of water required to increase the water level by one feet in the Bhakra Dam. But for the past few days, about 8,000 cusecs of water was being stored in the Bhakra Dam every day, said the BBMB officials.

A Member Irrigation, BBMB, Mr Anil Arora, said the water level at the Bhakra Dam was in a comfortable position and there was nothing to worry about. The BBMB had planned to increase the water level of the dam to its maximum capacity in a steady manner. For the past six days, there was a minor increase in the water level at the Bhakra Dam. We were trying to fill the Bhakra Dam to 1,680 feet, he added.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Alok Shekhar, said the flow of the river was normal and there was no reason to panic. The water level at the Bhakra Dam was still below maximum level. Moreover, there was no warning about the alarming situation from the BBMB officials, he added.


Rain has farmers in a tizzy
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 2
Incessant rain in Bathinda, Mansa, Muktsar and Faridkot districts for the past 24 hours has sent cotton farmers of the region in a tizzy as they fear that like last year September rain can again play spoilsport with their crop.

Though as of now only about a feet of water is standing in cotton crop, if the current weather trend continues in the coming days, it would cause damage to the crop. Experts opine that the next two-three days would be crucial for the crop, about which they are highly optimistic and are expecting a production of at least 25 lakh bales.

According to them, the opening up of the weather followed by sunshine can also play havoc with the crop in the low-lying areas, as water standing in the fields would lead to weakening of roots. Early sowing varieties of cotton are at very advanced stage at this juncture and more rain can spoil cotton bolls.

It is pertinent to note that the region’s markets are already witnessing an arrival of 500-600 bales of cotton daily.

Rain accompanied by strong winds can also result in flower shedding. It will also increase the threat of pest attack in the coming days. Reports received from various parts of Bathinda, Mansa, Muktsar and Faridkot districts suggest that rainfall hasn’t yet damaged the cotton crop. Gurmeet Singh, a farmer from Gillpatti village, said about one-and-a-half feet water was standing in his 7-acre cotton field and he didn’t know where to drain it out.

In Mansa, where a majority of farmers have opted for late sown varieties the rain is neither beneficial nor damaging at this stage. As per information available, cotton was sown in 6.25 lakh hectares and the Agriculture Department was hoping for a production of 24.69 lakh bales.


Heavy rain floods court complex
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 2
Heavy rainfall lashed the city last night leading to the inundation of the court complex, the Civil Lines police station and various localities.

The court complex was submerged in about two-and-a-half feet water and the local courts had to function from the Circuit House today. The entire Civil Lines area, including the police station, was waterlogged. The area also has residences and offices of Class I officers. Preventive measures were taken at the residences of the SSP and the Sessions Judge to stop the inflow of rainwater. The worst hit was Sirki Bazaar with water flowing at the height of about three and a half feet.

Though the Municipal Council had put up a motor to drain out water from the bazaar, it led to a protest from the residents of Sanjay Basti. They lamented that the rainwater was being drained towards their locality and it was posing a serious threat to their houses. They forced the MC authorities to shut down the motor, which again led to the rise in the level of water in Sirki Bazaar.

Sources said there was a ‘nullah’ between the two areas, which was not cleaned and the water was overflowing from it thus adding to the woes of the residents. Reports of school vans getting stuck in the middle of submerged roads were also received. Other areas that were inundated included Parasram Nagar,

Power House Road, Nai Basti, Sanjay Basti, Gurunanakpura Mohalla, Dhobiana Basti, Mall Road, Amrik Singh Road, Veer Colony and GT road.

Meanwhile, in Muktsar, Grain Market, Gandhi Nagar, Kotli Road, Adarsh Nagar, Kotkapura Road, Nehru Chowk and Gandhi Chowk were submerged in rainwater. Reports of heavy rainfall were also received from Mansa and Faridkot.


‘Nobody bigger than party’
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, said today that the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, should have attended the function at Payal organised by the party to pay tributes to Beant Singh.

When asked why Capt Amarinder Singh did not turn up at the function, Mr Dullo said he could not answer this question. Capt Amarinder Singh would be the right person to answer this question.

When asked that whether he has taken up this matter with the party high command, he said: “I have not talked to anyone in this regard.”

It may be stated that neither Capt Amarinder Singh turned up at the Payal function nor he visited the Beant Singh’s memorial in Chandigarh on August 31.

On that day Capt Amarinder Singh was in New Delhi to honour eminent writer Khushwant Singh with the Punjab Rattan award. In days to come, this function controversy is expected to blow up.

No one is bigger from the party, said the PPCC chief, without referring to any specific person or party leader.

“What we are today that is all because of the Congress and no one recognises us without it,” he further added. There were leaders who tried their luck in politics without being in the Congress and they failed to be successful, he added.

“Leaders should not forget the fact that their political existence is because of the party,” he stressed.

Mr Dullo was at Punjab Congress Bhavan here today to welcome the entry in the party fold of 30 sarpanches from the Lohian segment in Jalandhar district.

Claiming that it was a big party achievement, Mr Dullo said the sarpanches had joined the Congress quitting the SAD.

These sarpanches were motivated to join the Congress by Mr C.D.S. Kamboj, a senior leader of the party.


PUDA selling prime land for urban estates
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 2
Eyeing fat revenue of well above Rs 100 crore, the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) has decided to sell some of its Jalandhar-based prime properties, which were acquired by it under its Optimum Utilisation of Vacant Government Lands (OUVGL) Scheme.

The PUDA is in the process of acquiring land for setting-up three new urban estates in Jalandhar, Amritsar and Gurdaspur.

Meanwhile, PUDA was also contemplating to come out with a shopping complex-cum-parking lot on the sprawling old Deputy Commissioner Office building, which was also acquired by it under the same scheme during year 2001-02.

The proposed shopping complex-cum-parking lot would not only provide an ultra-modern and bigger platform for businessmen of Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Phagwara and Nakodar for its prime location adjacent to the Jyoti Chowk, but it would also ease the traffic congestion on the busy G.T. Road.

Residents of the city, particularly shopkeepers based on the GT Road, have been demanding setting-up of a parking lot for long as the area has been sans any proper parking place. Lack of proper parking has been affecting businessmen, as their customers, particularly NRIs prefer to stay away from the G.T Road area in the wake of parking blues.

“The prime lands belonging to PUDA— situated opposite to the upcoming government medical college, the old roadways workshop and another piece of land near the Gandhi Vanita Ashram— would be auctioned within a period of three months. The process is on and by this way we would be able to earn an amount of more than Rs 100 crore straightway,” said Som Parkash, Chief Administrator of PUDA, while talking to The Tribune.


Mann dividing Punjabis: BJP

Chandigarh, September 2
Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, senior BJP leader and former Industries Minister, yesterday said that Akali leader Simranjit Singh Mann was trying to spoil the atmosphere in the state by making provocative statements. He said that the pro-Khalistan speech made by Mr Mann at Talwandi Sabo was worth condemning.

He said it was regrettable that Mr Mann was honoured by the SGPC on the same day. Mr Mann was out to drive a wedge among Punjabis. The actions of Mr Mann suited the ruling Congress party the most. — TNS


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