Chandigarh: Punjab is facing acute power outage with its thermal plants heading to either facing deficiency of coal or hitting by a snag owing to increase in load capacity, state officials said on Saturday April 30.
Officials say since most of the plants have been left with fossil fuel storage, they are operating at a minimal capacity.
As a result, against the combined installed capacity of 5,680 MW at the five thermal plants, only 3,327 MW power is being generated.
With the demand peaking to over 7,500 MW, the Punjab State Power Corp Ltd is left with no option but to resort to unscheduled long power cuts, both in rural and urban areas.
This week, the state slipped into an acute crisis due to the outage of two major power-generating facilities in Talwandi Sabo and Ropar.
The Ropar thermal power plant resumed generation on Thursday, while Talwandi Sabo started its operations by Friday.
Agitated over the power failures, farmer groups, under the banner of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, have been staging a sit-in protest near the residence of Power Minister Harbhajan Singh in Amritsar, saying power outages hampering sowing of saplings for the upcoming paddy crop.
Coming in support of its government, the AAP state unit has blamed the central government for the crisis.
“It is the mismanagement of coal by the Union government that 16 out of 29 states are in the dark due to the power shortage. The whole country is facing a crisis due to the bad intentions of the Union government,” it said in a statement.
State Power Minister Harbhajan Singh blamed the intense heatwave for the spike in power demand.
“This year the demand is 40 per cent more compared to the previous year. Punjab is not the only state that is facing the power crisis. In fact it is across the country.
“We are trying to sort out the issue at the earliest. Our Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann is continuously monitoring the situation. The situation will soon become normal,” he added.