12 rakes of coal reach Punjab thermal plants, crisis may ease by Oct 15 : The Tribune India


Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11

As residents of Punjab continued to reel under unscheduled power cuts, the state thermal plants finally received 12 rakes of coal today.

Six rakes each reached Nabha Power Limited plant at Rajpura and Talwandi Sabo Power Limited plant at Mansa after Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi urged the Centre to immediately release coal for the state power plants.

PSEB Engineers announce protest

  • The problems of the state government on the power front may not end soon as the PSEB Engineers Association has announced a protest by switching off their mobiles
  • Association president Jasvir Singh Dhiman said all employees of the state power department would switch off their mobile phones and won’t entertain any consumers till the government fulfilled its promise of granting them revised pay scales till October 22

As many as five units of thermal power plants, including two units at the state-run Ropar plant and one at Lehra Mohabbat, are not able to generate power due to severe coal shortage. Though the state bought 1,500 MW of power today to meet the demand at over Rs 14.46 per unit, power cuts of four to five hours on different categories of consumers were imposed today as well.

‘All sectors powerless’

Punjabis across all sectors, including industry, are facing more than six hours

of power cuts, which has virtually paralysed the state. —Sukhbir Badal, SAD

Meanwhile, hundreds of residents reportedly gheraoed the office of the executive engineer in Barnala. The government claims that as they have started receiving coal now, things will improve in the next three days. “Thirteen rakes of coal are expected to reach the thermal plants tomorrow as well — six for Rajpura, four for Mansa, two for Goindwal Sahib and one for Lehra Mohabbat. As we build our coal stock, things will gradually improve,” a senior officer in the PSPCL told The Tribune.

Six units shut so far

With a thermal power unit at GVK-operated Goindwal Sahib plant in Tarn Taran shutting operations on Sunday, a total of six units in the state have been rendered dysfunctional due to severe coal shortage. The remaining power plants are operating at less than their optimum capacity to save on the depleting stock.