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Major power shut down in Punjab forcing outages across the state


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CHANDIGARH: The power situation in Punjab became critical on late Friday evening as two units of state owned Lehra Mohabbat Thermal Plant stopping generation due to collapse of fly ash handling plant. Thus now there is short fall of 1,810 Mega Watts of power in the state forcing outages across the state.

With paddy sowing season approaching and both the farmers and Punjab Government are already heading for a confrontation as the farming community has rejected the electricity supply schedule for the upcoming paddy season issued by the state government.

The two units of 210 Mega Watts each at the state government-owned Lehra Mohabbat Thermal Plant went out of operation around 9.30 PM late last evening due to collapse of the fly ash handling plant raising many eye brows on the maintenance of this plant.

The collapse of this unit has denied the state of 420 Mega Watts of power during this crucial time when the demand has already crossed 10,600 MW daily.

This also prompted the Punjab Stare Power Corporation Limited(PSPCL) authorities to jump start and one unit each at Ropar and Lehra Thermal plants which were shut for annual maintenance. Due to this break down at the Lehra thermal plant the PSPCL had to resort to regulatory measures to meet the gap in supply and demand. Several power cuts of long durations are being reported from across the state.

A senior official on condition of anonymity said that PSPCL has sought the help of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited requesting them to immediately send their technical staff to repair the unit.

Also a demand has been raised to fix responsibility for this major break down at Lehra plant. The power situation in the state has now become critical ahead of the paddy sowing season as it can take a couple of months for revival of two units of Lehra plant.

Already one unit of 270 MW at Goivndwal  and 660 MW at Tawandi Sabo both private thermal power plants are also out of operations because of annual maintenance and coal shortage respectively.

Sources said that around 12 PM on Saturday PSPCL was supplying 10,300 MW of power in the state of which 6,360 MW was being drawn from outside the state.

As the gross generation from within the state was reduced to 3,900 MW from against the installed capacity of 6,100 MW as a day before the state was generating around 4,500 MW of this capacity. While last year, the power demand in Punjab in the corresponding period was 5,727 MW.

A senior official said that from April 1 till date the state government has bought Rs 661.95 crore worth of power from open exchange at averagecost of Rs 8.80 per unit to meet the demand. As daily  on an average of 1,500 to 2,000 MW is bought.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)