Punjab to spend Rs 3,225 cr on power system overhaul
THE Punjab government on Wednesday approved two projects of Rs 3,225 crore for modernising and upgrading power transmission and distribution (T&D) systems across major cities in the state. The government suffers a loss of Rs 1,000 crore annually on this count, which is much higher than the national figure. The modernisation and upgrade of T&D systems will be started in Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Bathinda, Mohali and Patiala. There was a need for upgrading the entire power network system in urban and rural sectors in view of the 23.91% of total power loss due to the snags in the prevalent T&D system, according to Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) officials. The government expects to complete the project in two-and-a-half years, before heading to other small towns and cities. “Money saved will be money earned for industry and the common man,” said Confederation of Indian Industry Punjab president Gunbir Singh. The industries are the most affected by the frequent power cuts even during winter. About Rs 800 crore of seed money for these projects will be raised by the state government, according to Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal while presiding over a meeting of PSEB. “The government has approved Rs 1,990 crore for transmission project and Rs 1,235 crore for distribution project, resulting in reduction of losses by 15%,” said Mr Badal. Currently, the state loses 4% in transmission.Out of the 20% distribution losses, 10% was due to technical reasons and the remaining 10% due to theft and pilferage. To control the theft of electricity and reduce T&D loses, 35 lakh electric meters will be replaced by electro mechanical meters at a cost of Rs 175 crore in the next two years. “High voltage distribution system for tube wells are being introduced besides ensuring the proper installation of capacitors at all the tube well premises to stabilise voltage. Farmers are being motivated to replace the traditional bulbs with CFLs to save energy,” said PSEB chairman YS Ratra. The rural belt of Punjab has to suffer power cuts of more than 4 hours every day, according to Chandigarh-based citizen’s awareness group chairman Surinder Verma. Haryana to disconnect power of 1 lakh defaulters CHANDIGARH: THE Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) has issued over one lakh power disconnection orders against the nonpayers in a month. These orders have been issued during the special campaign launched for disconnection of electricity supply of nonpaying consumers against the target of 66,668 disconnections in November 2007, said an official release issued here on Thursday. A spokesperson said a sum of Rs 132 crore was pending against 1,00,135 consumers whose disconnection orders have been issued in the first phase. It was observed that 50,398 disconnections had been made by the field staff during the month of November. The disconnections of the re-maining non-payers has been extended up to December 15, he said. The nigam has recovered Rs 27.34 crore from the non-payers during the special campaign period upto November 30. He added that the nigam had also detected 9,718 cases of pilferage of electricity during the current fiscal.