Sowing begins tomorrow, power demand to go up - ECAS Punjab

Sowing begins tomorrow, power demand to go up

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Aman Sood

Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 8

Punjab is all set to start paddy sowing season that officially begins from Wednesday with the two key sectors — power and agriculture departments — all set to address the woes of farmers in the wake of coronavairus and limited migrant labour.

Officials say agriculture sector’s power demand is likely to cross 4,000 MW.

Farmers in the state are still waiting for migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to sow and harvest nearly 25 lakh hectares of paddy in Punjab. However, barring a few handful being brought in specially hired buses, not many migrants are interested in coming back.

“There are chances that the area under paddy cultivation might further increase despite the fact that the state government is promoting maize cultivation by providing subsidy,” said an official of the Agriculture Department.

As per the department, paddy was grown on 29.30 lakh hectares in Punjab last year and this year, Punjab has decided to shift 2.50 lakh hectares from paddy to other crops. In addition, a new method of paddy sowing called the direct seeding of rice (DSR) has been recommended by the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. “The DSR system does not require intensive labour but the area under the DSR has exceeded 7 lakh hectares with 4,000 specialised DSR machines purchased by farmers and thousands of wheat sowing machines being modified to sow paddy,” says Secretary, Agriculture, Kahan Singh Pannu.

CMD, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), A Venu Prasad said, “The PSPCL is committed to providing an eight-hour daily uninterrupted power supply to its 14 lakh agriculture tubewell consumers for the paddy season. The supply to all agriculture-related power consumers has been divided into three groups at each substation.”

He said consumers could lodge complaints by giving a missed call on the PSPCL toll-free number 1800-180-1512. “Consumers can also register their complaints on 1912 by SMS or phone call,” he stated.

from The Tribune

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