Centre gives major relief to Punjab, enhances power transmission to a record 9,000 MW


The Centre has given a major relief to the state by enhancing Punjab’s power transmission capacity from outside the state to a record 9,000 MW. With this enhancement, Punjab now can meet power demands of 15,500 MW during the summers. With this increase in available transmission capacity (ATC), the state will be able to meet the maximum demand of 15,500 MW with a drawl of 8,500 MW of power from outside the state and 7,000 MW from its own generation. The enhancement will be applicable from June onwards when the paddy sowing season starts and power demand reaches its peak in the state.

For the last six months, A Venu Prasad, additional chief secretary to the chief minister and the chairman of Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited (PSTCL), has been taking up the matter with the power ministry and the Northern Grid for getting ATC and the total transmission capacity (TTC) limits increased.

“Punjab has got the ATC/TTC limits enhanced for the upcoming summer/paddy season to 8,500/9,000 MW from the present limit of 7,100/7,700 MW. The Power System Operating Corporation, India, has issued the new ATC/TTC limits for Punjab. As per the sanctioned letter, the limits will be operative after the completion of certain ongoing transmission works in the Punjab controlled area,” said Yogesh Tandon, director (technical), PSTCL. He said the related ongoing transmission works at Rajpura, Ludhiana, and Jalandhar shall be completed by May 31 and that the enhanced limits of 8,500/9,000 MW shall be activated well before the start of the paddy season in June.

He said a regular follow-up had to be done with Central agencies and utilities for getting the augmentations/additions in the transmission system in the Punjab controlled area approved and executed, as well as release of the power sector development fund for the augmentation of 220 KV lines.

Punjab is facing a power crisis due to the rising power demand and the early onset of summer. Besides, the coal shortage has crippled the power generation capacity of the state and even the Powercom has taken permission for load-shedding during the paddy sowing season as it is anticipating a peak demand of 15,500 MW, which so far it was unable to meet. However, power engineers said that they are worried as private thermal plants are having limited coal stocks and to meet the power demand, the state must generate 7,000 MW. “Besides, the ATC enhancement will be used only if we get the power at reasonable rates in the grid. At present, the power rates are too high as compared to previous years. Still, enhancement of the ATC is a big relief,” they said.

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