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Current Affairs

Power crisis in Punjab

Date: 05 July 2021 Tags: Infrastructure

Issue

The state of Punjab is suffering from a shortage of power leading to power cuts for both domestic consumers as well as farmers.

 

Background

Punjab is an agrarian state with high usage of electricity for farm activities. The power cuts have left farmers high and dry especially during the sowing season.

 

Details

  • The state-owned power corporation has compulsorily cut power supply to high usage industry to divert them towards farming and domestic sectors.

  • The government has also stopped use of AC in government offices due to shortage. The timings of office have been curtailed from 8 am to 2 pm.

 

Reasons for shortage

  • The paddy season requires pumping of water to the fields. The demand from agriculture is more than the actual supply. This shortage is adjusted by long power cuts for domestic sector.

  • The window for paddy transplantation is closing fast. The government has diverted power from industries to allow farming activities to go on.

  • The new government had shut down two vital power plants in Bhatinda and Ropar that combined to produce 880 MW of power. There was no alternate arrangement made.

  • The government had also stopped the agency to start a solar power plant in Bhatinda. Another option of starting biomass plant in the same premises was also set aside.

 

Effects

Domestic consumers have started protests against the power cuts. Industrial bodies have asked for reversing the decision as their business was just picking up.

 

Options available

There have been demands for purchasing power to handle shortages. The power agency does not have funds to buy. In addition, the power infrastructure in state does not have the capacity to increase its transmission.