Dhanis get the ‘power’ of 24-hr Supply

Punjab government in its bid to develop each part of the state, the Badal government took the step towards providing 24 hours electricity supply to Dhanis. The project which is worth Rs. 15.30 crore is dedicated towards electrifying more than 1500 dhanis.

Dhanis get the ‘power’ of 24-hr Supply

The government of Punjab is not just working for the welfare of the residents in the villages and cities under Punjab state but even for the people living in the far flung areas of the state. To do away with the problems of the people living near the border and sub-mountainous kandi areas the Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal made it a point to provide electricity to these areas.

The project, which was taken up in 2013, aims to benefit more than 1500 Dhanis with an estimated cost of Rs. 15.30 Crore. Dhanis are places where people live collectively outside towns or villages.

The electricity in the border areas has not been regular and that has been a major reason for their disappointment. Government has now taken this into consideration and the Chief Minister has assured the residents of these areas of 24 Hour uninterrupted Electricity.

The funds for the project to start were immediately released by the Government to the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd. (PSPCL). The plan as directed by the Chief Minister himself was to connect Dhanis with a Cluster of three or more houses in border areas with feeders. This would be done after laying separate lines to ensure a good power supply on the urban pattern.

Anirudh Tiwari was made the head of a committee that was to work out the modakities for the settlement of outstanding arrears outstanding. PSPCL was also directed by the chief minister to issue fresh power bills to BPL on the basis of current.

Electrifying the 1500 Dhanis in Punjab will lead the state into some much deserved appreciation. It has been proved to be a stepping stone towards development. Punjab government in this effort of theirs of providing uninterrupted electricity to the Dhanis which have had the problem of erratic supply of electricity, has made their intention of developing each corner of the state bold.

Further in the current Budget of the state presented by the finance minister S. Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Rs 102 Crores have been allocated towards electrifying the leftout Dhanis.

After providing electricity to the border areas of the state, Akali-BJP led government has done justice to the needs of the people living in the rural areas. Looking for the needs of the poor in the far flung areas makes clear the intention of the government to help the poor.

Electric meters in Punjab bring Transparency

The advent of science and technology has altered the ongoing functions in the country. With such intellect, the state of Punjab has been proving its superiority over the other states in the country. Keeping in view, the menace of exploitation of the consumers owing to defective electric meters, The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has been working efficiently towards putting a halt to the consumer’s sufferings.

The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), the statutory body which was formed under the Electricity Supply Act, 1948 has been unbundled into two apex organizations which are –

  1. The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (POWERCOM)
  2. The Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited (TRANSCO)

Cognizant to the needs of the consumers, The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) issued a notification on 21 June, 2013 amended the powers accorded under the Section 181 of the Electricity Act, 2003. The amendments to the regulations comprised of Transfer of ownership and provision of other services, Supply and installation of meters, Replacement of defective meters, within five days of complaint, Inspection regarding unauthorized use of electricity, theft of electricity and assessment of electricity charges in the cases of unauthorized use or theft.

In contrast to these amendments, The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSCPL) simplified the procedure for the release of electricity connection which contributed in making the electricity supply in the state hassle free, prompt and efficient in providing services to the consumers. One of the major hindrances of electricity supply in Punjab was the defective or spurious electric meters which would lead to inflated bills regarding the electricity consumption.

In order to curb this menace, The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) gave approval to six private companies from Kolkata, Bengaluru, Udaipur, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Pune to test energy meters of consumers. This initiative has been contributing towards timely check of the electric meters, consumer satisfaction and potent electricity supply in the state.  The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSCPL), displays all the necessary and valid information such as the email id, address and phone numbers of the private companies for meter checking at all sub – division and division offices, to further annex to the consumer convenience.

Prior to a century from now, the country was not so developed about the means of information and communication. However, with the advent of technology disseminating information has become a child’s play. Needless to say, the responsive contribution of The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), has helped in accelerating the growth of electricity supply and consumer convenience in the state.

Single window System for power connection, a boost for Punjab govt’s claims

SAD-BJP’s promise to make offices of public dealing hassle free has received a big boost with the huge success of Single Window System which was introduced for online release of connections, by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) last year.

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The initiative, which provides hassle free connection with above 100 KVA(Kilo Volt Ampere) of Domestic, Non Residential or Industrial load has drawn a tremendous response across the state.

According to Er. K.D.Chaudhri, Chairman cum Managing Director, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited the Single Window System for online Release of Connections has been a huge success, since it was launched.

Officials at the PSPCL maintain the most important highlight of the scheme was that the consumers were not required to physically appear in the PSPCL office to apply for the connections. The objective was also to provide best service of the kind to electricity consumers all over the state.

What needs to be done to apply

In the scheme, the consumer has to visit PSPCL web site www.pspcl.in to register his application by filling the nominal processing fee of Rs.10 per KVA online. The applicant has the option to deposit the fee with multiple payment facilities like Credit Card, Debit Card, Net Banking or through RTGS. Once the processing is through, an e Demand Notice is issued for remittance of prescribed fee and the connection is released within the given frame of time. To keep the applicant apprised of the status of his application, complete status of application is updated on his mobile phone and e-mail. The maximum time to release the connection upto 500KVA, once the application is complete in all aspects is two months and for HT connection of any load is also two months. For Extra High Tension (EHT) connection of load above 500KVA, the duration is four months.

According to officials, ever since the scheme was introduced in March 2013, more than 500 applicants of load between 100KVA to 500KVA, 100 applicants of load between 500KVA to 1000KVA, over 50 applicants with load between 1000KVA to 2000KVA, about 30 applicants of load more than 2MVA and around 30 applicants of TG/DG sets have been accepted and the electricity connections have been released.

Monitoring from the top

A mechanism has been evolved to monitor the status of each application at PSPCL’s head office at various levels. And regular efforts are being made to expedite the process at each level to ensure that the deadlines are met. Officials maintain that the results of scheme are far encouraging as no complete application remained pending for the release of electricity connection. According to them the Single Window System to release electricity connections has not only improved efficiency for the release of connection, but has also led to complete transparency. The scheme has brought in the facility to the consumer at his doorstep.

What next

While the new scheme has not only built confidence amongst the consumers about PSPCL and government’s claims, it is now contemplating that the similar facility was provided to the applicants with load of less than 100KVA.

Free Power makes Poor Power-ful in Punjab

Punjab has always tried to provide subsidies to those who have been in the need of it. Be it farmers or the poor BPL residents of the state. The Cabinet in December of 2011 decided to give away 200 units of free electricity for domestic consumption every month to SC and BPL households. The Sukhbir Kalia committee did recommend the state government to do otherwise but the government gave importance to the needs of the poor people of the state.

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In providing free 200 units of power to the poor of the state the government in 2013 took a burden of Rs. 829.29 crore. Meanwhile by providing subsidy to farmers for using pumps and other machines the load on the government came to be Rs. 4,778.13 crores in 2013-14.

The State electricity board that provides these power units to the farmers and the SC and BPL families every month is paid out in full by the state government.

Punjab state electricity board has grown in large numbers since the SAD-BJP led government came to power. The connection of electricity in the state before the government led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal came up there were less than 6800000 connections and in the year 2014-15 the total connections in the state have been recorded at 8329976. Of these 6974504 are connections in general households. Considerable increase in the connections in poor households has been seen in the past few years. This has been due to the allocation of the free 2000 units of power per month.

The energy growth of the state has also seen a rise in the past few years. In the year 2014-15 according to state electricity board stats 46034.90 net energy units of power were generated.

Providing free 200 units of power to the poor is one of the many pro-poor schemes started by the Punjab government. A few of them include Atta-dal scheme for BPL card holders, regulation of unauthorised societies and 5 marla plots for housing scheme.

The announcement of providing 200 units of electricity was even made by the INC government in the past but the delivery was made sure by SAD and BJP led government. The INC government approved the scheme for just one year.

This benefit is being availed by nearly 18 Lakh families as of now in the state. The subsidy by the government in the state has played a key role in helping the SC and BPL families. Now that Punjab has been producing more units of energy to distribute providing 200 free units of powers works in everyone’s interest the major thing to take note being that the government has maintained its Pro poor stand and acted in their favour.

Punjab transforming into a Power Bank

As the Punjab state becomes the seventh state of the country to join UDAY and among the top 17 stocks in focus, Nava Bharat Ventures has entered into an arrangement with Tata Power Trading Company Limited (TPTCL) for supply of power to Telangana State Power Distribution Companies (TSPCC/TSDISCOMS) with effect from May 27, 2016 to May 25, 2017 a lot has been contributed by the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), towards transforming itself into a state have surplus amounts of power supply.

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The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), was constituted by the Government of Punjab in the year, 1967 in accordance to the Electricity Supply Act, 1948. PSEB is basically, a vertically integrated utility which is responsible for the power generation, distribution and transmission within the Punjab state.

The state has been a house to various thermal plants which include The Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant, situated in Bhatinda, Guru Hargobind Lehra Mohabbat Thermal Plant, situated in Bhatinda and Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Power Plant, situated in Ropar. Apart from these power plants, other plants power plants such as Nabha Power Limited, situated in Patiala, Gidderbaha Power Limited, situated in Muktsar, Dee Development Engineers, situated in Ferozpur and GVK Govindawal Sahib – Coal based thermal plant, situated in Tarantaran, Punjab are the proposed thermal power plants of the state.

The Transmission lines organization, which came into existence in July, 1998 has been operating for the construction of 66/132/220KV transmission lines and the up-gradation and augmentation of 33KV lines to 60 KV.

The achievements of the state, in terms of power distribution, transmission, generation and investment are fathomless. However, the milestone achievements as mentioned by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) are that all the power stations have been operating at their best ever plant load factor since installation, in order to provide support to SC & BPL consumers, free monthly consumption up to 200 units was allowed for connected load of 1000 watts w.e.f. 12th October 2006 instead of earlier 500 watts and replacing the conventional techniques from new electronic meters, remote control of transformers, remote meter reading and HVDS system for AP or Industries.

The set-up of Anti Power Theft Police stations, has been contributing in large numbers in reducing power theft. Efficient measures by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), has helped in reducing losses which has ultimately led to substantial increase in the revenue of the economy. The revolutionary step of the Punjab government, to join the central government’s Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) is expected to boost the financial turnaround of the power distribution companies of the country.

Punjab’s solar energy policy, a winner in making Punjab a role model

The World bank has rated state’s progress in the use of solar energy as one of the best in all the states, which can be attributed to the user friendly provisions and incentives being offered in the Solar-energy policy of Punjab government, introduced in 2014, Taking a cue, the Union government has now asked other states to follow the Punjab model for giving shape to solar energy policy.

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No wonder players like Welspun, Punjloydd, Luminous, Azure, Lanco, Essel, and Sun Pharma, the multinational firms, already have plants in Punjab and several of their likes are now keen to invest in such projects in the state.

According to Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) chief executive officer (CEO) Amarpal Singh, many expatriate and foreign-based companies have shown interest in investing  in the sector.

In fact during state government’s Progressive Punjab summit, various firms committed to invest a sum of 3,000 crore in this sector, for which the process has already begun.

Reiterating that Punjab has one of the best solar energy policies in the country, Renewable energy minister Bikram Majithia says that the policy has a back-up of 25-year purchase agreement with the electricity utility with the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL).

Who can set up a solar energy project

Under the new policy one can have his/her own Solar power project, by investing about Rs one lakh, on which the government is providing a subsidy of Rs 15,000. One requires an area of 100 square feet free space over the roof. This can have an output of 1 kilowatt (which can run 20 fluorescent tube-lights or 10 fans). Average household requirement is between 3 to 5 kilowatt-capacity, project. The project has a life span between 25 to 30 years.

Mechanism: It has bi-directional meter which keeps record of power consumed from the grid and contributed to the grid
Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) is the nodal agency for such projects.

Three models

At present three types of models are being adopted for solar power generation in state.

1.Captive metering: Under its provisions, plant is set up for personal consumption.
2. Gross metering: The power generated from the plant goes to the grid.
3. Net metering: It’s a blend of captive and gross metering in which power generated is shared accordingly.

Advantages

The most important aspect of solar energy projects is that they help preserving environment and saving oxygen. For every 1 unit of electricity generated in a thermal-energy plant, 0.82 kg of carbon dioxide is produced.

Status of Solar-power generation in Punjab

2012—-9 MW
2014—–200 MW
2017 —1,000 MW (target)


Rooftop solar projects, Punjab’s future

Going by the current energy needs and growing pollution, rooftop solar projects may soon become a mandatory feature for households in the coming day. So far the state has allocated rooftop projects of 53 MW. An average rooftop solar plant requires 100 sq ft of space.

The biggest Rooftop project

A solar-energy project at the roof top in Radha Soami Satsan Beas with a capacity of 7.5 MW is the single solar-energy project which so far is India’s largest in the rooftop category. There is a proposal to increase its capacity to 31.5 MW, which would make it perhaps the world’s largest rooftop plant. Covering more than 21 acres of the largest congregation space, the project with an investment of about 55 crore is bigger than any project in Italy, Spain, China, France and the US. It has as many as 30,096 solar photovoltaic panels fixed over several asbestos sheets.

Now there is a proposal to add 4.880 megawatts to the capacity from another 13 acres over the same roof, which would further enhance the total generating capacity of project to 12.404 MW.

The project is helping in providing a clean energy to the dera besides adding to its earnings.

“As per the agreement, we have a selling price on which the power is to be given to the state power corporation @ Rs 7.76 per unit for 25 years. We are expecting it to go up further over the period,” a spokesperson of dera said.

The dera management in-principle has decided to go for net metering project after installing a 12-MW solar-energy farm in the next phase.

Solar power incentives in Punjab, a boon for farmers

Thanks to a host of incentives and initiatives by the Punjab government, solar investment in Punjab is turning out to be a boon to the farmers looking for alternative model of diversification.

Solar power incentives in Punjab, a boon for farmers

Several farmers who have leased out land for solar power generation are a happy lot and the government too now has set up a target of harnessing 2000 megawatt (MW) solar energy within two years. The target may not be far-fetched with state averaging around 300 sunny days annually.

In fact going by the claims of officials in the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA), there has been a 25-fold increase in the solar power production in the state in just two years. Presently, 225 MW has been tapped with an investment of around Rs.1500 crore ($235 million), where the production was barely 9MW in 2012.

New schemes for farmers

The government has launched a “Land on lease” scheme in which the farmers are being encouraged to set up solar power plants ranging from 1 MW to 2.5 MW in the fields to promote solar energy which is also called clean energy.  Such was the response that within two months after its launch more than 3,500 acres of land was offered by farmers to investors for setting up the solar projects. The scheme was backed up with the concessions being offered by the state government. The government has also been granting exemption to investors from the ‘change of land use’ (CLU) charges under the state’s policy of promoting non-renewable energy sources.

Mini solar energy plants

A number of farmers have evinced interest in having own mini solar-energy plants. The state government has so far processed 174 solar-energy plant proposals in an average time of 38 days. The government has also decided to allot projects of 1-to-2.5-MW capacity to farmers, with a target of generating a total of 500 MW. Already 6,000 acres of land has been registered with Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) for this purpose
Five acres of land and investment of Rs.5 crore is required for installing a 1 MW solar power plant. If a farmer wants, he can easily get a bank loan up to Rs.5 crore, a PEDA official told IANS.
As per the latest scheme, a farmer can give land on lease after PEDA approval for 30 years at an annual lease from Rs.35000 to Rs.50,000 per acre with a five per cent annual rise in the amount of lease. As giving land on lease in no way curtail farmers from cultivating crops, the lease amount would be an additional income for the farmers.

Net-metering policy

The net-metering policy has been introduced keeping in view farmers’ interest in particular. Under the policy the amount of power a household utilises and the amount of power it feeds into the state grid is measured. Accordingly the state government makes the payment for the power which is diverted to the grid. The policy was announced in November 2014. Under the net-metering policy PEDA has already received applications from about 1100 households for setting up solar plants.

  ‘Single window”

To make the process of approval hassle free the government has introduced a single window system for solar energy investors in the state, where approval is to be given within 30 days.