The Punjab government on Thursday reduced timings of government offices and ordered cut down on power supply to high energy-consuming industries as the electricity demand in the state soared to over 14,000 MW a day.
On Wednesday, the power demand peaked to 14,142 MW against the supply of 12,842 MW, leaving a gap of 1,300 MW, an official of the state-owned power utility PSPCL had said.
So far, there is no decision on banning the use of air conditioners (ACs) in government offices, which will function from 8 am to 2 pm from Friday till further orders, an official spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh appealed to all government offices to make judicious use of electricity, adding that the situation is dire as the peak demand in the state has touched a whopping 14,500 MW.
On the government functioning, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu took potshot on CM Amarinder Singh and wrote a series of note on his social media account today.
Sidhu said, “Truth of Power Costs, Cuts, Power Purchase Agreements and How to give Free and 24 hour Power to the People of Punjab:-
1. There is No need for Power-Cuts in Punjab or for the Chief Minister to regulate office timings or AC use of the Common People … If we Act in the right direction.”
2. Power Purchase Costs – Punjab is buying Power at average cost of Rs. 4.54 per unit, National Average is Rs. 3.85 per unit & Chandigarh is paying Rs. 3.44 per unit. Punjab’s over-dependence on 3 Private Thermal Plants at Rs. 5-8 per unit makes Punjab pay more than other states
3. Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) – Badal Govt signed PPAs with 3 Private Thermal Power Plants in Punjab. Till 2020, Punjab has already paid 5400 Crore due to faulty clauses in these Agreements and is expected to pay 65,000 Crore of Punjab People’s Money just as fixed charges
4. Punjab can purchase power from National Grid at much cheaper rates, but these Badal-signed PPAs are acting against Punjab’s Public Interest. Punjab may not be able to re-negotiate these PPAs due to them having legal protection from Hon’ble Courts, But there is a way forward..
5. Punjab Vidhan Sabha can bring in New Legislation with retrospective effect to Cap power purchase costs to prices available on the National Power Exchange at any given time … Thus, By amending the Law, these Agreements will become Null & Void, saving People of Punjab’s Money
6. Punjab’s revenue per unit of consumption is one of the lowest in India, due to gross mismanagement of the complete power purchase & supply system … PSPCL pays Rs. 0.18 per unit “Extra” on every unit supplied, even after receiving over 9000 Crore in Subsidy from the State.
7. Renewable Energy is becoming cheaper along with being environmental-friendly, But Punjab’s potential from Solar & BioMass Energy remains unutilised even though Central financial schemes can be availed for these projects. PEDA spends its time just on energy efficiency awareness
8. Punjab already gives 9000 Crore Power Subsidy but Delhi gives only 1699 Crore as Power Subsidy. If Punjab copies Delhi Model, we will get merely 1600-2000 Crore as Subsidy. To better serve the People of Punjab – Punjab needs an Orignal Punjab Model, Not a copied Model !!
9. Punjab Model for Power – Money spent on giving unreasonable & exuberant profits to Private Thermal Plants should be utilised for welfare of People i.e Giving Power Subsidy for Free Power for Domestic use (Upto 300 Units), 24 hours supply & to invest in Education & Healthcare !
Meanwhile, the CM also constituted a three-member committee to resolve grievances of the agitating employees. He assured the employees that all their genuine demands will be considered.