Chandigarh: The Punjab government on Monday issued strict instructions to power utility Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) to improve power supply to the domestic sector and asked that load shedding beyond schedule should be avoided at all costs, an official statement said.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday took detailed review of power supply situation in the state as demand for power spurted due to drought like situation in the state.

Badal also issued strict instruction that power cuts to the domestic consumers must be restricted to minimum and power cut period should be pre notified.

He said it should be ensured that there should not be any power cut from 8 pm to 8 am to the domestic sector, the statement said.

Badal instructed PSPCL to purchase more power from spot market to meet the increase in demand for power.

Issuing directions to ensure ban on ACs in government offices strictly in the state, Badal said, "We would have to make collective efforts to face this unprecedented crisis."

He said Punjab has already sought 1000 MW power from unallocated central pool and expressed hope that Union government understanding the gravity of situation to save the crops would release more power to the state.

PSPCL Chairman K D Chaudhri informed the Deputy Chief Minister that there has been 40 percent increase in demand for power against 10 percent projected by the corporation.

He said that PSPCL already purchased power worth Rs 7,000 crore to tide over crisis due to unprecedented deficient monsoon.

The Chairman informed that sometimes power cuts were imposed due to low frequency which was out of control of PSPCL.

PSPCL has to exercise discipline in over drawing power from the grid and informed that failure of northern grid was outside Punjab and there was no control of Punjab on this, he added.

(Agencies)

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