Chandigarh, July 12 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday evening ordered withdrawal of all power regulatory restrictions that were imposed on industries across the state to meet the power crisis.
The crisis was triggered by a delayed monsoon and an unprecedented surge in demand from both agricultural and domestic sectors.
Reviewing the power situation in the state after the resumption of generation at one of the three non-functional units at Talwandi Sabo thermal plant, the Chief Minister directed the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) to ease off all power regulatory restrictions on industrial consumers across the state with immediate effect.
He was apprised that the plant at Talwandi Sabo had resumed 660 MW production, improving the power situation in the state.
The decision on the complete withdrawal of the restrictions was taken by the Chief Minister soon after PSPCL announced a similar but partial withdrawal in districts falling in central and border zones.
The PSPCL had allowed all industries, except those using continuous power, to operate at full capacity from Monday.
However, after the Chief Minister's intervention, all industries across the state, including those using continuous power round the clock like textile, chemicals and spinning mills can now operate to full capacity.
Owing to unprecedented rise in demand of power, the PSPCL had, as a temporary measure, ordered restrictions on industrial consumers of the state in order to provide continuous power supply to domestic consumers and eight hours power supply to the agriculture sector for paddy operations.
Continuous process industries were allowed to operate at 50 per cent of their load, a spokesperson for the Chief Minister's office said.
Significantly, despite the high demand for consumption, the PSPCL had not imposed any restrictions on small and medium supply industrial consumers, rice shellers, cattle feed units, call centres, mushroom farms, food processing units and other essential industries or services from the beginning, the spokesperson further revealed.
Punjab has 99,834 small power industrial consumers, besides 30,176 medium power consumers, upon whom no usage restriction has been levied at all despite rising demand for power across domestic sector.
To meet up shortage, only large supply consumers, 5,071 in number, which use 1,000 KVA SCD had been asked to use 100 KVA for 12 hours a day.
Large supply arc furnaces of which 282 operate in state, had been restricted to five per cent of SCD only.