Punjab contests grid failure blame, Haryana on defensive

The Punjab government Tuesday vehemently contested the blame on the state for being among those responsible for over-drawing power from the northern grid which led to a massive power failure in the country, while Haryana was on the defensive.

The Punjab government Tuesday described as "absurd, factually baseless and grossly misleading", the central government's claim that the grid failure at the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) Monday and Tuesday was due to overdrafts by the state.

"It is absolutely incorrect and misleading to blame the failure on Punjab, whose overdraft is many times lower than that of other states," a spokesman of the chief minister's office said here.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who was on the defensive for gross overdraft by state leading to the grid failure, said Tuesday that "the present power crisis was not only of Haryana, but of the entire country".

"The problem has aggravated due to snag in the northern grid. Although the power generation has been increased during the last few years, the demand has also increased."

Releasing figures of the overdraft of power taken by Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh at the point of the grid failure, the Punjab spokesman said that these  "clearly showed that Punjab's usage on overdrafts had been by far the lowest among the these states".

"These figures clearly established that Punjab has been the most disciplined and frugal out of the northern states," he added.

He said that according to the figures secured from the BBMB at 2.30 a.m. Monday when the grid failure sent the entire north zone into darkness, Haryana was taking an overdraft of 25.5 percent on its allotted share of power.

"At the same point of time, UP's overdraft of power over and above its sanctioned load was 20.8 percent. In sharp contrast, overdraft by Punjab was many times less than either of these two states as it was a bare 5.5 percent."

The spokesman further said that at 1.10 p.m. Tuesday, when the grid failure occurred for the second successive day, Punjab's overdraft was a meagre 1.2 percent of its sanctioned load.

"In contrast, Haryana's overdraft at the same point of time was a whopping 22.4 percent while overdraft by UP stood at 6.4 percent," he added.

He said that the average overdraft by Punjab in the entire month of July was just four percent compared to a staggering 31 percent average by Uttar Pradesh. "Punjab was the most disciplined of all the user states," he said.

Haryana's average overdraft in July stood at 17 percent while Rajasthan had an average overdraft of 18 percent.

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