Ensure eight-hour uninterrupted power supply to farmers: Punjab CM

Facing massive statewide agitation by farmers over power outages, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday issued directions to ensure eight-hour uninterrupted power supply and to purchase deficient power from outside the state at any cost to prevent any supply disruption in the ongoing sowing season.

Chairing a high-level meeting to review the power supply to the farmers during the ongoing kharif season, he directed the Finance Department to release Rs 500 crore to the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) to tide over the financial crunch faced amid the pandemic.

Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, who was present at the meeting, assured that his department would release these funds without delay.

The PSPCL earlier informed the meeting that it was facing a severe financial crunch as a result of slowdown in consumption and revenue collection in the last one year due to the pandemic.

Reiterating his government’s commitment to providing continuous eight-hour supply to farmers for sowing their crops, the Chief Minister directed PSPCL to purchase deficient power, if needed from outside the state at any cost, to meet the government’s commitment to the farmers.

There should be no disruption of power supply to the farmers, he added.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal said the farm economy of Punjab has been endangered by the Congress government with massive power cuts and insufficient canal water, threatening to devastate the paddy crop.

He said farmers were barely getting four to five hours of power and that too in gaps instead of the promised eight hour uninterrupted power supply.