Amritsar, November 3: Residents of Punjab are facing power cuts as the state is facing a shortage of coal due to the suspension of goods supply trains over farmers' protests. The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) on Tuesday announced that it will cut power supply for a couple of hours from this evening. Three private thermal plants have shut down after coal ran out of stock. 49% Jump in Stubble Burning Cases in Punjab This Paddy Season, Says Data.
"We will impose three-hour power cuts today evening. The power cuts will increase to four-five hours," PSPCL chairperson A. Venu Prasad was quoted by news agency PTI as saying. Due to coal shortage, GVK Power, Nabha Power at Rajpura and Talwandi Sabo in Mansa have suspended their operations. Two state-owned utilities - Lehra Mohabbat and Ropar power plants - also have coal for just one or two days, India Today reported.
According to a government spokesperson, who spoke to news agency ANI, at present, the day demand for electricity in Punjab stands at about 5100-5200 MW and night demand is about 3400 MW. Supply, on the other hand, is totally inadequate, he added.
"The situation is grim as the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) is left with no generation control and market rates of power continue to be highly volatile. They could further spike any time, resulting in the increase in the cost of power purchase, on which the state is now completely dependent to feed its cables," the spokesperson said.
Last week, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had sought personal intervention of Railways Minister Piyush Goyal for the restoration of freight movement, which remained suspended even after the farmers' decision to partially lift their blockade.