Encouraged with a boost of surplus power availability of around 1,000 Mega Watt (MW), the cash-strapped Punjab is exploring the ways to use surplus power by introducing new innovations. After proposing to sell the surplus power to Pakistan or Nepal, the state now aims to introduce e-tractors, e-rickshaw and electricity operated brick kilns to save energy sources.

A decision in this regard was taken during the recent meeting held between the Punjab Power Minister Rana Gurjeet Singh and officials of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) and Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited (PSTCL), headquartered in Patiala.

 Sources said, the idea to promote e-tractors was discussed after considering the fact that PSPCL was having surplus electricity. To use this surplus electricity PSPCL would provide electricity to the manufacturers on subsidised rates. 

"We are having surplus power. Most of the power consumed during paddy season lasting for four months. Hence, we are surplus with power for nearly eight months. Plans to promote the production of e-tractors, e-rickshaws and electricity operated brick kilns are under consideration," PSPCL, Director Commercial, OP Garg, told The Statesman. He also said the Power minister also asked the PSPCL officials to launch intensive drives to check the power theft cases. "We are in process to launch regular drives to check electricity theft cases with the help of enforcement wing," he said.

 During the meeting, it was also discussed to adopt effective measures for improving the system of power purchase, material purchase and maintenance of stores. The joint delegation of PSPCL and PSTCL was told about to make the distribution system robust while making desirable changes in metering for 100 per cent collection of dues in a transparent manner.

It was also decided that the farmers be educated to install five star motors to conserve energy and use solar power in order to save fuel and help in improving environmental pollution. During the meeting, other initiatives being taken to improve the quality of power supply to the consumers, especially, farmers during the ongoing paddy season besides the other important issues such as improvement in the generation, transmission and distribution system were also discussed.

The officials said, various efforts being made by the PSPCL to reduce the cost and improve efficiency at various levels with the view to provide quality, affordable and uninterrupted supply. They said that PSPCL has met the highest ever demand of power 11,500 MW on 10 July while surpassing the highest demand of 11,408 MW on 1 July, 2016.