Chill factor: PSEB faces acute power shortage

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ TUESDAY, JANUARY 06, 2004 12:48:44 AM ]

PATIALA : The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) is facing acute shortage of power these days due to which power cuts are being imposed in rural and urban areas. The PSEB authorities said that the cold wave in the region had increased the demand of power as consumers were using heat convertors in a big way. Information available said that the PSEB was facing shortage of around 60 to 70 lakh units daily.

Sources added that the PSEB was also facing pressure from the government to make an all out effort to fulfil the demand of consumers as in the recently held Vidhan Sabha elections in some states the power issue had resulted in the defeat of ruling parties. Now, sensing the Lok Sabha elections very near, the Congress government was pressurising the board not to impose power cuts, said the sources. The board authorities said that the power shortage had forced them to impose up to one and a half hour cut in main cities, up to three-hour power cut on urban industrial feeders and 8-12 hour power cut in rural areas. The board also disclosed that five out of the six units of Ropar Thermal Power House, two units of Lehra Mohhabat Thermal Power Station and four units of the Bathinda Thermal Plant were being run to their capacity. One unit of the Ropar Thermal Plant had been shutdown for annual maintenance.

Due to the winter season, the PSEB's hydro power stations were not in position to generate even half of their capacity. The board authorities said that only two units of the Anandpur Sahib Hydel Project and only one unit out of the four units of Ranjit Sagar Dam Project were generating power. There was no sufficient water to run the remaining units. Keeping in mind the present circumstances, the PSEB has started its efforts to purchase electricity from the national power generating companies but they also have no surplus power due to the increased demand in other states.