Affecting smooth power supply to farmers, heavy storms that hit different parts of Punjab on June 10, 11 and 13 caused a loss of over Rs 25 crore to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), impacting transmission and distribution infrastructure. Farmer unions are already up in arms against the government for its failure to provide the promised eight-hour power supply to their paddy fields.

Sources said many villages in Punjab were not getting the assured power for their paddy fields to date and there has been interrupted supply due to tripping and infrastructure damage.

PSPCL officials claimed more than 15,000 workers had so far addressed more than 1.8 lakh complaints affecting more than 50 lakh consumers across Punjab, mainly from Patiala, Kapurthala, Faridkot, Bathinda, Gurdaspur, Khanna, Ropar, Mohali, Sangrur and Barnala in the past two weeks.

“The storms resulted in the breakdown of around 900 feeders of 11 kV and 20 feeders of 66 kV Towers, uprooting more than 13,000 poles, around 2500 transformers and more than 100 km of conductors, besides other equipment,” said PSPCL CMD A Venu Prasad.

He said supply to all domestic, commercial and industrial consumers and most of the agricultural consumers had been fully reinstated and the PSPCL was working to ensure that supply to the remaining agricultural consumers was restored by June 16 so that farmers could get the eight-hour supply.

Meanwhile, the Northern Regional Load Despatch Centre (NRLDC) has written to PSPCL asking it not to draw the maximum limit of power from the northern grid. Experts suggest that “if the NRLDC letter is not implemented, this can lead to power failure or even a blackout in parts of the state”.

Source: 17 June, 2021, The Tribune