Rationalise tariffs, ensure maintenance of power plants, promote use of energy-efficient appliances: Residents
Focus on real-time monitoring of supply
The local administration should have made alternate arrangements to provide uninterrupted electricity to consumers. In the long-term, loss-making electricity distribution utilities should be revived under the UDAY (Ujjwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana) scheme. In order to achieve 24x7 power for all, we need to focus on real-time monitoring of supply at the end-user level as it will help track the ground reality of electricity supply. Improving maintenance services, estimation of adequate demand and respective power procurement will also go a long way in reducing load shedding. Last but not least, a significant improvement in customer service, which includes billing, metering and collection, is also crucial to maintain financial stability.
Harness solar energy to meet power demand
The maximum demand of power in Punjab has touched 15,500 MW this year but the state has been able to supply only about 13,000 MW. The power theft is rampant, more so in rural areas. People have to use inverters and generators to deal with power shortage. Farmers and industry are also suffering for the same reason. At some places even the transformers of the electricity board have been stolen. Though the cost of power is highest in Punjab still people are not getting power supply. Better solution would be to harness solar power by investing in solar panels to give relief to the public from power cuts.
Dr JS Wadhwa
Popularise LED lights to save electricity
Electricity is the basic need for any economy. India is heading towards digitalisation and for this power is the basic need. The demand and supply shortage has created shortage of electricity in Punjab paving way for power cuts. The government needs to chalk out a plan about how to increase the electricity generation through micro-hydel projects. We should educate the masses to save electricity. Use of LED lights and five star ranking electrical appliances can reduce power consumption significantly. Similarly, more transformers should be installed with regular annual maintenance to bridge the power shortage gap.
Rajat Kumar Mohindru
Encourage electricity conservation
Electricity should be judiciously used by every consumer so that all consumers are able to get required electricity. Switching off lights when not in use, use of natural light and air should be encouraged. Each family should start taking steps to conserve electricity to contribute consumers for a better tomorrow. Further, the Bhakra board management should be requested to increase power generation so that uninterrupted power can be supplied to all consumers.
Establish powercom regulatory authority
Amid delayed monsoon, power crisis has deepened further in Punjab. The demand touched 15,000 MW against availability of 12,800 MW. The acute demand-supply gap forced the authorities to impose long power cuts on domestic consumers. Despite the two-day compulsory cut on the industrial sector, the state is finding it difficult to maintain the promised eight-hour supply to farmers. The industrial sector, already in distress due to Covid, is also bearing the brunt of power shortage. Although, it is not unusual that consumption of power rises during the intense heat wave in summer, yet the authorities cannot be absolved of their duty to ensure continuous power supply. A powercom regulatory authority should be set up to undertake appropriate measures to meet energy needs of the state. Focus should be on harnessing alternate sources of energy in place of thermal power. Alongside, tariffs ought to be moderated to suit the pocket of consumer and the power thefts should be sternly checked. The conservation of energy through improved infrastructure, avoiding reckless use and minimising transmission losses/wastage by technology upgradation is ardently required.
Nirmaljit Singh Chatrath
Scale up production to meet demand
Amid the intense heat wave, Punjab is facing a severe power shortage these days. The huge gap between electricity demand and supply has ignited public protests across the state. The main contributory factors behind the problem are rising demand, delayed monsoon, reduced power generation from hydropower plants, shutting down of government-run thermal plants, free and subsidised power to agricultural and industrial sectors, illegal connections and over-dependence on private plants through flawed power purchase agreements (PPAs). It is the duty of the state authorities to provide electricity to residents at affordable rates. Besides checking power theft, scaling up production, reviewing the controversial PPAs and purchasing power from the National Grid, the government should adopt innovative measures such as tapping renewable solar, biomass and wind energy which is cheaper, environmental-friendly and sustainable.
D S Kang
Repair old thermal plants in state
It is unfortunate that Punjab is reeling under acute energy crisis during this sweltering summer season. The unprecedented rise in electricity demand and its erratic supply has not only impacted the agricultural and industrial sectors but also made the life of common citizens miserable. Rather than shutting down the public thermal plants due to technical snags, they should have been repaired in time or alternative arrangements should have been made for the production loss. Under the faulty power agreements, the government continues to pay a humongous amount of Rs 20,000 crore to the private power producers. Along with tough measures on consumption, it is buying electricity at exorbitant rates, causing huge loss to the state exchequer. The government should revisit its policies on free or subsidised power, find a legal recourse to counter the power contracts and produce electricity from alternative sources to tide over the ever-looming energy crisis.
Tajpreet S Kang
Address issue of power theft
Punjab is reeling under unprecedented power shortage amid the heat wave. The solution to the problem is to hand over the charge electricity production and distribution to private companies. It is a fact that where electricity is managed by private company, 24-hour power supply is assured. Power theft is also one of the major reasons for inadequate power supply. Faulty and old wires are never replaced and the result is, electricity tripped and it takes hours to repair and restore the connection. The government always lack in making advance planning and we are taken for granted to suffer.
Privatise all power operations
Successive governments have failed to deal with the issue of power cuts. The only remedy is to privatise all processes relating to electricity to get rid of its political exploitation any more. It will solve the problems of subsidisation, the promises of free power and issues such as power theft and distribution losses. The electricity will become like other economic activity to be regulated on the basis of supply and demand with healthy competition among the players. It will definitely make electricity availableall the seasons and all the times with affordable rates like any other product in the market.
Raise awareness on saving power
Due to power cuts in Punjab, people had to take to the streets to protest. To deal with the power crisis, the government needs to increase the power transmission capacity so that there will be no difficulty in importing power from other states. The public should be educated about saving electricity and water through TV, radio, newspapers and social media. Farmers should be encouraged to plant other crops besides paddy as it consumes more water. Therefore, electricity consumption is higher. By revoking the agreements of private thermal plants in Punjab in the Vidhan Sabha, the money saved can be used to buy electricity and solve the power crisis. The government should appoint a regular CMD of the PSPCL so that he can easily find a solution to the problem like power crisis.
Install smart meters in every household
The world is moving towards renewable sources of energy, with Tesla being a great example that has revolutionised the autmobile industry. We should also switch from thermal power plants to sources such as solar, wind and hydopower. Thermal power plants (TPPs) produce cause water and air pollution. Many reports say that the theft of electricity is very rampant in Punjab, particularly in rural areas. Smart metres must be installed as soon as possible in every household. Recently, we have seen how many units of the TPPs malfunctioned causing a great distress to the people.
Jatinderpal Singh Batth
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