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Farmers beat industry in Punjab’s battle for watts

Farmers beat industry in Punjab’s battle for watts
PTI
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First Published: Mon, Jun 22 2009. 04 19 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Jun 22 2009. 04 19 PM IST
Chandigarh: A severe power shortage in Punjab has crippled the state’s industry, forcing steel units to cut prices and exporters to seek more time for delivering their orders.
Punjab State Electricity Board has imposed three-day power cuts on induction and arc furnaces and two-day shut down on other industrial sector in order to ensure eight hours electricity supply to farm sector for paddy sowing.
The power utility has been able to supply 1,460 lakh units per day against the demand for 1,804 lakh units per day, facing a massive shortfall of 364 lakh units, according to a PSEB official.
Power shortage has hit works in industrial units badly and production activities have come to a halt. “We are persuading our buyers to extend the delivery period by at least 10 days in the wake of power shortage,” said a Ludhiana -based knitting maker Ajit Lakra.
Steel prices have also softened by Rs3,600 per metric tonne in the past few days due to lack of demand.
“Due to lack of sufficient availability of power, we are losing export orders of bicycle and bicycle parts as industry was unable to complete the orders in promised time,” United Cycle Parts and Manufacturers Association President Charanjit Singh said.
Power crunch has also forced industry to run on generator set that has raised energy cost by 50%.
“Against Rs5 per unit of power cost, we now have to shell out Rs11 per unit as power cost incurred on diesel, generator’s depreciation, operator’s cost etc,” said Lakra.
“Since the production activity in light engineering sector of Punjab has completely paralyzed in view of power crisis, demand for steel products like ingot has come down sharply,” said Raj Sood Mandi Gobindgarh-based steel trader.
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First Published: Mon, Jun 22 2009. 04 19 PM IST