Chandigarh: Unseasonal rains in northern region of the country has caused sharp drop in demand for power in Punjab, brining relief for state power utility which is now in the process of buying short term power to meet gap between demand and supply.
However, showers had an adverse impact on cotton crop as farmers in cotton growing areas complained of sown crop getting damaged because of rains.
Rains yesterday lashed various parts of Punjab and Haryana, bringing down maximum temperature by up to 10 degrees below normal, Meteorological department said.
Power utility Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) has witnessed drop of about 25-30 percent in demand for power because of untimely rains lashing the northern region.
The demand for power has sharply come down to about 850 lakh units (LU) as against 1,200 LU which was about two-three days back, official sources in PSPCL said.
Notably, in corresponding period of last year, power demand in Punjab stood at 1,265 LU.
Significantly, PSPCL is in the process of buying 5,047 million units (MU) of short term power through competitive bidding in order to bridge gap between demand and supply during May till September amid claims of surplus availability of power.
While seeking permission for buying power from power regulator, PSPCL has said that it could generate only 800 MW of power at its three own power plants at Ropar, Bathinda and Lehra Mohabbat because of "reduced availability" of coal.
Meanwhile, rains brought bad news for cotton growers in Punjab as farmers complained of their crop getting damaged because of showers.
"Due to rains, hard layer of earth is formed which halts sprouting process in cotton crop," an official of Punjab Agriculture Department said here.
He further said that cotton growers especially in cotton belt, including Bathinda, Faridkot, etc would have to resow the crop which would put additional financial burden on them.
Punjab grows cotton over 5 lakh hectares.
Reports from several areas in Punjab and Haryana also said that wheat which was lying in open in grain markets also got wet because of rains, which would impact quality of crop. Farmers alleged that government owned procurement agencies were making delay in lifting crop.