Punjab power crisis: Govt offices to run from 8 am to 2 pm starting Friday

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh has also ordered cutting down of power supply to energy-guzzling industries with immediate effect.

With Punjab reeling under an unprecedented electricity shortage amid extreme temperatures, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Thursday ordered curtailment in timings of government offices from Friday, and cutting down of power supply to energy-guzzling industries with immediate effect, to save crops and ease the domestic power situation.

The offices will now function from 8 am to 2 pm, while there has been no decision yet on the use of ACs inside, a government statement said. Amarinder also appealed to the offices to make judicious use of electricity, pointing out that the situation was dire, with peak demand in the state touching a whopping 14,500 MW.

The Chief Minister also urged the agitating power department employees to call off their stir which has aggravated the crisis, with breakdowns from overloading of feeders and sub-stations not being fixed promptly.

Reviewing the situation at a high-level meeting, the Chief Minister constituted a three-member committee, comprising Additional Chief Secretary – Development, CMD – PSPCL and Special Secretary Finance, to resolve the grievances of the agitating employees. He assured the employees that their genuine grievances would be duly considered. He said many of the demands, such as increase in employee NPS share, restoration of Generation Incentive etc. had already been conceded, and the 6th Pay scales were also being implemented by various boards/corporations of the state.

Pointing out that farmers were losing precious paddy transplantation time due to the power breakdowns, the Chief Minister said the agriculture sector needed to be prioritised for uninterrupted power supply.

The CM added his government was committed to ensuring regular supply of power at subsidised rates to the state’s agricultural, domestic and industrial consumers.

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