Amid the coal crisis in the country, Punjab is the worst hit with the state facing maximum power shortage in entire north India. The state had a shortfall of almost 2,300 MW on October 11 (Monday) that was converted into power cuts. Just like Monday, there were cuts ranging from 4 to 7 hours across the state on Tuesday as well.
As per Monday’s daily operation report of the northern region released by Northern Regional Load Dispatch Centre (NRLDC), Punjab supplied 8,751 MW to consumers against the demand of 11,046 MW – a shortfall of 2,295 MW which was converted into power cuts.
Meanwhile, other neighboring states like Haryana, had a maximum demand of 8,382 MW and met 8,319 MW leading to a shortfall of only 63MW.
Rajasthan’s maximum demand was 12,534 MW and with a shortfall of 272 MW as they could meet 12,262 MW demand.
As per the NRLDC, Delhi had zero shortfalls on October 11 as its demand was 4,683 MW which was met during the day, while UP’s demand was 19,843 MW during the day and the state could meet 18,973 MW with a shortfall of 870 MW only.
On the other hand, Uttarakhand had maximum demand during the day of 2,052 MW, while it could meet 1,862 MW.
Himachal had no shortfall as it met the demand of 1551 MW, while Jammu and Kashmir had a shortfall of 200 MW in total.
As per CMD of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), A Venuprasad, Punjab is getting coal on a daily basis in its government-owned as well as private thermals and the situation is still critical.
Ajaypal Singh Atwal, general secretary of Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) Engineers Association, said, “When PSEB was running all government-owned thermals, coal stocks up to 30-40 days were always kept. Punjab is away from coal mines and hence keeping this thing in mind, we always used to keep an inventory of a month with us. Had Punjab kept that stock, we would have been on the upper hand and could have sold power at premium rates rather than buying.”
According to sources, inventory cost could have been in the range of Rs 100-150 crore, while PSPCL in the past few days has purchased power for double the amount at costly rates which were as high as Rs 17 per unit as well. It is surprising as to why private thermals were never ordered to keep a month’s coal stock when they are being paid at the terms set by them, added PSPCL sources.
Farmers complained of poor power supply and they submitted memorandums to PSPCL chief engineers in different districts of Punjab even on Tuesday.
Outside PSPCL’s head office in Patiala, an association of PSEB employees seeking jobs for the family members of deceased employees staged a dharna and blocked the main gate. They even locked gates of officers’ colonies as well. Employees rued that while management was mismanaging power supply, they were even not adhering to demands of the families of dead employees by giving jobs to a family member on compassionate grounds.