Punjab Government should review free-power policy, says power engineers' body as demand hits all-time high of 15,500 MW : The Tribune India

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Punjab Government should review free-power policy, says power engineers' body as demand hits all-time high of 15,500 MW

AIPEF wants offices to reduce working hours, shut Malls early, shift Paddy sowing to shifted to June 25

Punjab Government should review free-power policy, says power engineers' body as demand hits all-time high of 15,500 MW

AIPEF also wants the state government to write to The Minister of Power “to allocate at least 1,000 MW additional power extra from central pool on Top Priority”.Photo for representation only.



Tribune News Service

Aman Sood

Patiala, June 17

The extreme summer conditions accompanied by the ongoing paddy transplantation have pushed the power demand to an all-time high, breaking last year’s record of 15,325 MW from past three days. 

In a letter to the Punjab Government, the All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has warned of power snags as demand increases. 

“The office timings should be changed from 7am to 2 pm and all commercial establishments, including malls, shops, should be closed by 7pm,” says the AIPEF letter. 

The  power engineers' body has asked to impose peak load restrictions.

From June 11, the canal water was supplied to farmers uninterruptedly in districts of Sri Muktsar Sahib, Faridkot, Mansa, Bathinda, Fazilka, Ferozepur and areas beyond the fence at International Border for paddy.

In the tubewell irrigated areas of Moga, Sangrur, Malerkotla, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib, SAS Nagar, Rupnagar, Ludhiana, Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Tarn Taran, Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Pathankot, the power to tube wells was supplied from June 15.

“This triggered a hike in power demand which is now constantly touching 15,500 MW and anymore increase by another 1,200 MW could lead to grid failure,” said a PSPCL official.

“Paddy sowing in the remaining areas of Punjab should be shifted to June 25, and no one should be allowed to violate the date. The water guzzling varieties like PUSA 44 should be banned and encourage varieties like PR126, basmati, etc., which mature in 90 days,” said AIPEF.

“Power theft should be covered as an offence under NSA. Free power as a state policy should be reviewed forthwith,” it said.

“A major power crisis looms large over Punjab with peak demand constantly touching 15,500 MW in past three days, an all-time high in Punjab’s history," said a senior Punjab State Power Corporation Limited. 

Last year on June 23, the PSPCL met a record maximum demand of 15,325 MW and supplied 3,435 lakh units. “The maximum demand of over 16,500 MW can be expected in the last week of June when the paddy season will be at peak,” said a senior PSPCL official.

As per Punjab Agriculture Department, the state had witnessed a staggering 31.93 lakh hectares under rice cultivation, including 5.87 lakh hectares of basmati, in 2023.

The AIPEF also wants the state government to write to The Minister of Power “to allocate at least 1,000 MW additional power extra from central pool on Top Priority”.

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