Uninterrupted power supply to consumers says Punjab power minister

(Eds: Updates with power minister's statement)
    Patiala/Chandigarh, May 14 (PTI) Punjab Power Minister Harbhajan Singh on Saturday said notwithstanding unprecedented power demand, the power utility PSPCL is supplying uninterrupted power to all sections of consumers in the state.
     He said all the thermal units in the state are in running condition except for one unit of Lehra Mohabbat thermal power plant which was shut down on Friday last night due to a technical snag.
     Singh, in an official statement here, said the unit number-2 of the Lehra Mohabbat plant (210 MW) developed a technical snag in its electrostatic precipitators, for which chairman of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited visited the plant for on-the-spot assessment.
     A team of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) engineers has also reached the site and more experts would reach Lehra Mohabbat plant on Sunday to assess the damage and provide help in reviving the unit at the earliest.
     A committee has been formed to analyse the causes of the snag and to take remedial action along with BHEL engineers, said the minister.
     Further, two units of Lehra Mohabbat are currently running and one unit is put on standby.
     Earlier, in the day, the officials had said two units of the Lehra Mohabbat thermal power plant stopped generating power after the plant developed a technical snag.
     They had also said it could take several days before the units start again generating power.
     The minister said both the units of Rajpura power plant are operational and the third unit of Talwandi Sabo of 660 MW, which was closed for annual overhauling, is scheduled to start generation Saturday evening.
     All the four units of Ropar thermal plant are available and one unit is on standby to conserve coal for the forthcoming paddy season.
     Further, two units of Lehra Mohabbat are currently running and one unit is on standby.
     The minister said the state has witnessed unprecedented demand for power due to sharp rise in temperature in comparison to last year.
     “During April 2022, PSPCL met 10000 MW peak power demand, which was 46 percent higher than April 2021.
     This extraordinary power demand continued in May 2022, and 10,900 MW peak demand has been met by the PSPCL which was over 60 percent higher than May 2021”, he added.
     He claimed that despite this, no power cut is being imposed on any category of consumers.
     Earlier in the day, PSPCL issued an appeal to state consumers to optimise electricity usage.
     The PSPCL spokesperson said the corporation had issued an appeal to the consumers to switch off air conditioners, lights, other devices, domestic and agriculture pump sets when not required.
     Temperature setting of ACs should be kept above 26ºC and shunt capacitors of sufficient capacity be installed on motors of agricultural pump sets and industrial loads.
     The spokesperson also said that theft of electricity in addition to an increase in distribution losses also results in rise in tariff due to low revenue collection, increasing the burden on consumers. PTI COR CHS VSD MR

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)