Punjab News Power cuts are back - State reels under heat-wave condition


Prime VIP
Chandigarh, June 20

The onset of paddy transplantation season has aggravated power crisis in the state as the Punjab Power Corporation announced a series of power cuts and shutdowns to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the farmers in the state.

The worst hit by the power regulatory measures is the furnace industry of Mandi Gobindgarh, as it has been instructed to observe a weekly off with immediate effect. Even the domestic consumers throughout the state are facing four to eight hours of daily power cuts. In some areas, peak hour-load restrictions have also added to the woes of the consumers.

While the day temperature continues to hover over 40° C throughout the region, demand for power has escalated manifold. In several areas, especially in Ferozepur, Faridkot, Sangrur and a few more neighbouring districts, the farmers are resentful as they are not getting promised eight hours of uninterrupted power supply.

“We are now paying the power bills and still not getting even eight hours of quality power supply. Costs of all inputs are going up and the government has announced only Rs 50 a quintal hike in the MSP of paddy. How will we survive when most of the inputs are either in short supply or are exorbitantly priced?” rued Rulda Singh, a farmer of Ferozepur.

Talking to The Tribune, he said for the past several days, many pockets in the state have been reeling under severe power crisis. The farmers were up in arms because of power shortage, he added.

Even the furnace industry of Mandi Gobindgarh has not taken well to the imposition of six-day week.

“When we are paying the highest power tariff, why we should not get uninterrupted power supply,” complained a furnace mill owner.

Though the meteorologists maintain that the southwest monsoon was expected to arrive on time in the region on June 29, failure of pre-monsoon in the region so far has escalated the demand for the power supply.

Till last week, there were either no power cuts and disruptions in power supply were minimal.

But the start of transplantation of paddy on June 10 has created a huge gap between demand and supply of the power.

Though the power corporation has been buying power from all possible sources at much higher rates, but is still far short of meeting the increased demand of the farm sector.