Open house: What steps should state govt take to ensure uninterrupted power supply in peak summer months? : The Tribune India

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Open house: What steps should state govt take to ensure uninterrupted power supply in peak summer months?

Supply & demand should be better managed

Open house: What steps should state govt take to ensure uninterrupted power supply in peak summer months?

Awareness must be created among city residents to limit the use of air-conditioners, televisions and coolers in homes.

Infrastructure upgrade required

During the coming summer season, the Punjab Government should effectively manage both supply and demand to ensure 24X7 uninterrupted regular power supply. On the supply side, the government should invest in upgrading infrastructure including substations, transformers and distribution lines to improve efficiency, reduce transmission losses and ensure better power availability. Additionally, the government should implement smart grid technology to manage power distribution, encourage renewable energy sources, especially solar power through rooftop solar installations for residential and commercial buildings, and regularly maintain power infrastructure to address voltage fluctuations and prevent breakdowns to minimise downtime. On the demand side, the government should promote energy conservation among consumers by educating them about the efficient use of electrical appliances, encouraging practices like turning off lights, fans and ACs when not needed, and introducing time-of-day pricing to incentivise consumers to shift their high-energy consumption activities to off-peak hours. The government should also encourage farmers to adopt more energy-efficient irrigation pumps, motors and techniques like drip irrigation. To ensure fair distribution of power cuts, the government should implement planned load-shedding schedules across different regions and consumer categories. The critical sectors like hospitals, water supply and essential services should be given priority during load-shedding. It is crucial to note that addressing the power supply challenge requires a collaborative effort from government agencies, power utilities and consumers. To ensure all this, free power supply to all the sectors/sections should be stopped henceforth, and instead can be supplied uninterruptedly on reasonable charges.

Kulwant Singh Phull

Do we have a democracy overdose?

Practical democracy these days is based on the assumption that an individual may at times be intelligent and rational, but an electorate, as a huge group, has no mind of its own and is always available for being led up the garden path, courtesy betrayals, pretensions, freebies and promises that are impossible to fulfill. Politicians, therefore, once elected by hook or by crook, focus only on gaining or retaining power and target only their self-interest for which there is no paucity of unfair means and corrupt practices. Shifting loyalties and ditching parties is now the order of the day. There is no question of ideological differences. They are guided only by financial considerations. In fact, politics has become a high-yielding industry with life-long pensions and all sorts of perks and privileges. And they have nothing to lose, because family members select different parties. If the husband is in the ruling group, the wife may be in the Opposition, in case, the cardinal principle is to oppose every move of the government. The only point on which they always agree is to scuttle any attempt to introduce any electoral, administrative or police reforms which might upset their apple cart. Meanwhile, propaganda has made people accept their lot and even like it. They will never revolt and the politicians know it. The very will to revolt has died away. The voters remain happy in the false belief that they enjoy the power to choose. They will ultimately choose the one who makes the loudest noise or the one who has the power to confuse. The tragedy is that this trend towards irrationality is now spreading its arms world-wide, including USA. Perhaps India had an overdose of democracy and is paying for it.

Prof Mohan Singh

Choose renewable sources of energy

The mercury is rising with each passing day after the advent of summer. As the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted an abnormally high temperature during this season, the residents are likely to face severe hazards from soaring heat and other environment related issues. Prominent among such complexities that immensely add up to the miseries of people during the summer are vector-borne diseases, water scarcity and frequent power failures. As the state is currently deficient of electricity, it is indeed a big challenge to maintain supply. Obviously, the government has to gear up its machinery to meet the demand for power which is expected to reach its peak in the months of May-June. To fulfill the requirements on a sustainable basis, the state power board needs to plan extensively for tapping into alternate resources like solar and other renewable means of energy. All existing and upcoming commercial units be strictly mandated to install own solar power generators. Instantly, it will have to arrange supply from National Power Grid or other electricity surplus states for immediate protection of natural habitat and vegetation. For this purpose, it may have to resort to staggering domestic cuts to divert supply towards industry and agrarian sector, while the forthcoming summer vacations in educational institutions should be rescheduled accordingly. Office hours during peak summer months can also be redesigned to conserve some power and other resources. Alongside, the municipal administration will have to be vigilant against pollution from stubble burning and maintain due cleanliness to prevent the spread of seasonal ailments. Notwithstanding that the regular supply of power and drinking water is the paramount duty of the government, the people can be sensitised to exercise restraint to safeguard themselves from the intensity of heat wave during extreme climatic conditions.

Nirmaljit Singh Chatrath

Limit power use, set up new thermal plants

To ensure uninterrupted power supply during the peak summer months, the state government should foremost take the step of increasing the strength of power generators in the state. For this, new thermal plants should be set up across the state. Secondly, awareness must be created amongst dwellers to limit their usage of air-conditioners and coolers in homes. Last, but not the least, the step that the government needs to take on priority basis is to withdraw freebies in the form of free power with immediate effect in order to save the debt-ridden PSPCL.

Sanjay Chawla

Collective efforts needed

To ensure uninterrupted power supply in the peak summer months, the government needs to make some preparations beforehand. Foremost is the task of a thorough review of generating capacity of all power plants and ensuring adequate amount of fuel availability in the thermal power plants to rule out the possibility of running short of stocks. Also, all the shut-downs and maintenance work of power plants should be completed well in time before the power needs start rising or it should be postponed for post-peak summers to avoid power cuts to carry out maintenance operations in power plants. Every possible way of power generation using natural renewable sources like hydro-power and solar power should be taken into account as much as possible to meet the growing power needs. Citizens too need to behave responsibly by not using ACs and coolers 24X7 and also avoiding the luxury of individual AC rooms and opting for pooling for a few days. Along with this, power wastage can be avoided by switching on electric equipment only when needed and switching them off when not required. These collective efforts will surely help in reducing power burden and also make way for a non-stop power supply during soaring temperatures.


Purchasing power plants should help

The summer is predicted to be tough this year. Scorching heat waves are likely to sweep across India. This poses a challenge for the common people, particularly for those who lack the wherewithal to withstand the assault of summer. The Punjab Government may be seriously looking for ways to protect the citizens from sizzling heat waves that may take the state in their grip in the coming months. However, providing uninterrupted supply at peak hours —- both to industry and consumers —- seems to be an uphill task. The government alone cannot do anything. Citizens have to contribute their bit to ensure uninterrupted power supply. They must impose ‘load-shedding’ on themselves. The entire family can sit under one AC or one fan to beat the heat. The use of bulbs and tube-lights should be minimised during broad daylight. The government, on its part, can keep the supply of coal intact to smoothly run its thermal plants. Punjab has recently purchased a thermal plant. It should be put in order before the onset of summer to provide uninterrupted supply to the consumers. Together, we can achieve the goal.

Prof Rajan Kapoor

PSPCL should extend power load

Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) has always tried its best to supply uninterrupted power supply to the consumers, even during the peak summer demand. The PSPCL keeps vigil on future demand and supply and tries its best to maintain the balance of demand and supply. Due to revolution in the manufacturing of LED lights and five-star ranking of air-conditioners and other electrical appliances, consumption of power in domestic and industrial sectors has come down. The PSPCL has its own hydel projects and takes its share of power units from the BBMB which costs quite less than thermal power. As per the demand, the PSPCL has already installed transformers as per the load of the different areas. The PSPCL should once again come forward with a scheme of extending power load so that demand and supply can be adjusted with the supply of power during peak load. There are highly qualified engineers in the PSPCL and can ensure 24x7 power supply to the consumers. To introduce any mechanism, the PSPCL has qualified manpower to deal with the exigencies of managing power supply during the summer months.

Rajat Kumar Mohindru

Power supply leads to wellbeing in summer

As the IMD has predicted, there is going to be a severe summer season this year. In the current situation, it is of utmost importance to ensure that every household has a fully functional and uninterrupted source of electricity. With the scorching heat of the season, it becomes even more crucial to have a reliable power supply to keep the fans and air-conditioning units running at all times. Any interruption in power supply can lead to a lot of discomfort and even health issues for the people. If the predictions are right, then appliances like air-conditioners and fans are one of the key factors to not only provide comfort but also hygiene and safety from many diseases. Living in a densely populated and active city like Jalandhar can be challenging due to the large number of people and frequent power cuts. The crowd can sometimes lead to unpleasant situations, such as people sweating and causing bad odour. It may be worth considering the seriousness of this issue and how it can be addressed by the government. For this, the government can perform certain functions and take steps. First of all, we need to find out how and why power cuts happen? The main reason is not being able to match the supply with the demand. Power plants in the city are unable to produce enough energy to supply to every household, resulting in a complete shutdown. The problem is that it lasts up to several hours, causing severe inconvenience and trouble. To resolve this, both the government and the people must cooperate to handle the situation. The masses should use less electricity and try as hard as they can to save electricity to prevent power shortages. Some of these ways could include, making one common AC room where all the family members sit together, rather than having separate rooms and spending double the energy. On the government’s part, they need to work more efficiently and invest more in the production of bio-electricity and the security of power lines to prevent any sort of mischief with the wires. In many areas, there are reports against people for cutting the power lines of many areas for certain reasons, resulting in power cuts. Bio-energy is a form of electricity that is adopted by many countries and converts fruit and vegetable peels into electricity to help meet power shortage. These are some of the ways to resolve the issue.

Lakshit Jindal

Policy on official timing Was good step

As the summer season is approaching, certainly the heat wave will increase and demand for electricity will also rise. Being an agrarian economy, the state government may shift more power to farmers so that sowing and yield of any crop does not suffer and awakened citizens should agree with the government’s policies. But simultaneously, the government should provide necessary electricity to industry also, which is an equal part of development and contributes more to state GDP. For this, the common man should come forward and avoid wastage of electricity. Last season, the state government made the public policy about official timing for all government offices from 7am to 2 pm which was a right step towards saving electricity and which the state government should also repeat in the coming season. Further, wherever power cuts are necessary in peak summer season, it should be informed well in advance to the residents of a particular locality so that they can prepare themselves accordingly. Further, in case of any larger issue like deficient coal supply or failure of thermal plants etc, the government should take precautionary action well in advance and do proper planning for the season. In the end, it is the sensitivity, education, meditation and awareness of common citizens that can make public policies more sustainable.

Harvinder Singh Chugh

QUESTION for next week

With summer setting in, demand for water increases even as the supply is limited. What steps should be taken to check the misuse of water during the peak summer season?

Suggestions in not more than 200 words can be sent to [email protected] by Thursday (April 18)

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