Power situation to improve in next two days: Punjab Deputy CM

Chandigarh, Jul 14: Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today said the power situation in the state would improve in next two days after the steps taken by the government to step up coal supply to thermal plants in conjunction with the Union Coal ministry "bearing fruit".

The Deputy Chief Minister, who took stock of the power situation with senior officials here after meeting Union Minister for coal Piyush Goyal at Delhi, was briefed that power generation at the Rajpura thermal plant was likely to be increased in the next two days, an official release said.

The Rajpura plant, which is presently producing 500 MW of power against a capacity of 1400 mega watt, is likely to increase generation with two rakes of coal expected to reach there today evening and two more tomorrow, the release quoting Sukhbir said.

The state government hoped that the Centre would commence coal supply to the Talwandi Sabo thermal plant or provide it an ad hoc supply of 3 lakh tonnes (LT) so that it could resume operations, the release said. The Coal ministry has also agreed to a proposal to allow tapering coal linkage of up to 2.4 million tonnes for one year to the Goindwal Sahib thermal plant which has been synchronised on oil and is lying idle for want of coal so that this power is available to Punjab within this paddy season, the release said.

The power demand in the state has increased from around 8,500 MW daily last year to more than 10,500 MW, it said. Officials also reported a spurt in air conditioner (AC) usage in the state with Jagraon town alone recording a sale of 5,000 ACs.

Sukhbir also appealed to the people to realise the gravity of the situation, which was not of the state's making. "The earlier Congress led UPA government could not develop coal supply from the mines to the thermal plants in various States. We on our part have increased power generation from 2140 MW in 2007 to 4,700 MW in 2014.

However, despite more than doubling the state's power generating capacity Punjab is suffering because it is unable to get the coal required by it," he said. "Even now as much as 1,560 MW of our installed capacity is lying unused because of lack of coal," he said. "I have already given directions that all out efforts should be made to stabilise power supply in the state," he added.


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