Punjab: Power consumption up 12%, unpaid subsidy payments and summer time months stare govt within the face3 min read
Punjab energy minister Harbhajan Singh has stated in a press release that in comparison with January 2022, the month-to-month energy consumption within the state has gone up by 12 per cent. The minister added that Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) met the demand efficiently by optimum utilisation of the sources. As per reviews, 54,237 million models have been consumed in January 2022 which rose to 60,762 models million models this yr.
As per the officers, the rise in consumption might be attributed to 2 causes. First, there was an intense chilly wave and second, the federal government of Punjab underneath the Aam Aadmi Party is offering 600 models of free electrical energy in a billing cycle.
PSPCL met the requirement by arranging electrical energy from exterior the state. Punjab’s thermal and hydropower technology capability was additionally elevated. Notably, the thermal energy technology from PSPCL-owned vegetation in Lehra and Ropar was elevated by 128 per cent. These two models produced 2,736 million models in January 2022. However, in January 2023 the ability basic was clocked at 6,229 million models.
Similarly, the ability technology in hydro tasks owned by PSPCL and BBMB elevated by 21 per cent and 13 per cent respectively. In PSPCL-owned hydropower models, the ability technology was upped from 2,946 million models to three,567 million models. In BBMB, it elevated from 3,067 million models to three,454 million models.
There has been a pointy improve within the banking of energy with different states. As per reviews, in comparison with 1,917 million models in January 2022, 3,487 million models of electrical energy have been consumed that have been banked from different states.
The actual check is but to start
The energy consumption in winter is relatively much less within the state. The actual check will start because the temperature will soar within the coming months. Since the federal government of Punjab introduced free 300 models of electrical energy per 30 days, consumption has persistently elevated in comparison with earlier years. For instance, in September final yr, the ability demand rose by 22 per cent.
With the elevated demand for energy, scheduled and unscheduled energy cuts have change into extra frequent within the state. At the start of this yr, the state noticed an increase of 27 per cent within the demand, that too when traditionally energy consumption is at its lowest throughout January. There have been frequent energy cuts reported within the state however the authorities maintained they have been simply “technical snags”.
Recently, the ability engineers within the state warned the federal government that the state might face energy shortages or blackouts within the upcoming paddy season if quick corrective and well timed actions should not taken. The PSEB Engineers’ Association wrote to the Chief Minister saying the “costly indecisions” together with mounting subsidy invoice, widening expenditure hole and no substantial improve in energy technology will trigger issues within the coming month.
Subsidy and non-payment of the subsidy invoice by the federal government have been acknowledged as outstanding causes within the letter. “Punjab Government’s annual power subsidy bill in this financial year is expected to cross Rs 19,000 crore in 2022-23, which includes free and subsidized power to industries, agriculture, and domestic consumers, that too without considering the backlog subsidy payment of Rs 9,020 crores,” stated the affiliation.
Furthermore, the affiliation accused the federal government of “deliberately underestimating the expenditure” on energy subsidy by nearly Rs 7,000 crore. The affiliation stated, “Now, with no budget provision for this big gap in expenditure, PSPCL is being forced to arrange funds on its own by loans from banks and financial institutions at high-interest rates and this lending will increase the overall cost of power for the ordinary consumers.”
The affiliation additionally alleged that some politically backed parts within the state are utilizing “every mean possible” to maintain their consumption “below the 600 units threshold”. Such parts, in keeping with the affiliation are creating hassle for the company workers and stopping them from conducting vigilant actions to cease electrical energy theft.