Chandigarh: Pressing the panic button, power utility Punjab State Power Corporation on Tuesday asked consumers and government departments to reduce use of air-conditioners, and imposed fresh regulatory measures on the industry in the wake of prevailing dry weather conditions.

In view of grim power situation, the power utility appealed to all categories of consumers and government departments to restrict use of AC by 50 per cent till arrival of monsoon.

The power consumption due to use of ACs across the state has been pegged at 1500-2000 MW, Punjab State Power Corporation Director (Distribution) Arun Verma told.

Under the new measures which will be applicable from on Wednesday, the state’s continuous process industrial consumers, including spinning sector will be restricted to use their power load up to 125 percent of their peak load exemptions during peak load hours, which is expected to save 300-400 MW of energy for the power utility.

"Due to the prevalent huge gap in demand and supply of power, it has been decided to impose new regulatory measures on all the continuous process industry," Verma said.

"The new measures besides ongoing regulatory measures will be taken till weather conditions improve," he said.

Currently, two day weekly power off is already imposed on the industry and power cut of 3-4 hours on domestic and commercial sector.

Even after imposing above regulatory measures, PSPCL is not in a position to bridge gap between demand and supply as the low grid frequency prevailing in the region do not allow overdrawl from the system to meet the increased demand necessitating further regulatory measures.

The dry, hot, humid weather and rising demand for power from the farm sector for paddy sowing has also aggravated the power situation in the state.

The demand for power has shot up to 2224 lakh units against the supply of 1947 lakh units of power from all resources per day, a gap of 277 lakh units.

PSPCL has blamed the restrictions on bringing power from outside imposed by the Northern Regional Load Dispatch Centre (NLRDC) that has hit the power supply to the state. "We are ready to bring more power from outside, but the restriction has tied our hands," he said.

Punjab is allowed to bring only 5400 MW of power while state has made arrangements for bringing more power than the sanctioned transmission.

This year, PSPCL even bought 3511 lakh units during May and June while last year in these months, no power was bought, he said.

Meawnhile, Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) Chairman and Managing Director K D Chaudhary on Tuesday told newsmen here that the rise in demand resulted in nearly 20 percent power grids being overloaded, thus necessitating the power cuts.

Chaudhary revealed apart from the regular purchase of 700 to 1,000 lakh units, the PSPCL purchased 42,046 lakh units during May till September.


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