Chandigarh: In wake of the power requirement of the state in the ensuing paddy season, the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday urged the Union Power Minister RK Singh to provide additional power to the state from the central pool to meet the heavy demand of electricity.

In a letter to the Union Power Minister, Bhagwant Mann flagged the issue of power requirements of the state on account of the upcoming paddy season. The Chief Minister said that in order to provide uninterrupted supply of power to the farmers of the state, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) is continuously keeping a watch over the power availability on the PUShP portal. However, he said that it has been observed that as of now the availability of power on the portal is uncertain, for a shorter span and on a day-to-day basis only.

Mann said that as the demand of electricity cannot be reliably

met through the collective transaction segment of power exchange, the state is in definite need of firm allocation of Round The Clock (RTC) power of 1000 MW for the period from June 15 to October 15. He said that this requirement of additional power is further necessitated due to the recent IMD (Indian Meteorological Department) prediction of low monsoon rainfall in North- Western India, including Punjab. Bhagwant Mann said that in the national interest of food security the cultivation of paddy crops must be ensured in a smooth and hassle free manner.

Therefore, the Chief Minister impressed upon RK Singh to allocate additional firm power from Central Sector Generating Stations. He informed that Punjab is getting regular coal supply from Pachhwara (Central) Coal Mine for State Thermal Plants. However, Bhagwant Mann said that the total generation capacity within the state is limited to about 6500 MW, whereas the peak demand is likely to touch 15,500 MW during the paddy season.

Therefore, the Chief Minister said that to meet the peak demand of power in forthcoming paddy/summer season central assistance is imperative. Flagging another issue, he said that the Ministry of Power has issued directions on February 20, 2023 regarding invocation of Section 1 of Electricity Act, 2003 to imported coal- based plants and the same are valid till June 15, 2023. Bhagwant Mann said that due to the approaching summer season, these directions carry significance in the case of Punjab due to our 475 MW share in CGPL, Mundra.

He said that as peak demand/paddy season of Punjab will start from June 10th onwards, the state is in dire need of firm RTC power during this period. Hence, he requested the Union Power Minister to extend these directions till October 15th so that the power requirements of all sections of the society can be met. Bhagwant Mann said that the food growers of the state have always played a key role in making the country self-reliant in food production so the Union government must ensure regular and additional power supply to the state so that farmers can be facilitated.

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