The residents in 11 districts of Punjab, where the mercury is touching 44 degrees Celsius nowadays, are facing power cuts for about 10 to 15 hours. In Patiala, there was an unscheduled power cut of up to 14 hours in many areas on Wednesday. Similarly, the power cut continues in many parts of Pathankot, Amritsar, Jalandhar and Firozpur among others. People are facing power cuts for such long hours for the first time in the last four years and Opposition parties are attacking the state government.
Harjinder Singh Bansal, Deputy Chief Engineer, Powercom, said that the demand for electricity has increased significantly amid the summer season while the production is decreasing and hence forcing the authorities to go for power cuts.
RK Choudhary, the organizer of the All India Power Engineers Association, said that the solution to the crisis is to set up new power generating stations.
Presently, the demand for electricity in Punjab is 15500 MW, but the state produces only 13474 MW. Due to a technical fault in Talwandi Sabo Thermal Plant, the production of 600 MW of electricity has been reduced further.
Amid a rise in the electricity demand, the state-owned Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has imposed unscheduled power cuts in various districts. PSPCL has urged government and public sector offices in the state to use electricity judiciously.
Opposition leader and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Badal said that during the time of the Akali government there was a surplus of electricity. He alleged that Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has closed all the thermal plants, due to which the state is facing a power crisis.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also attacked the Punjab government regarding the power cut. AAP leader Harpal Cheema said that earlier the SAD government made wrong agreements with the power companies, but now Amarinder Singh’s government is also doing the same.