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Gurpreet Singh Nibber, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh , July 04, 2013
The race for the posts of director, human resource development (HRD), and director, distribution, in the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) is hotting up. The selection committee, headed by the Punjab chief secretary and including the secretary (power) and the chairman, rural electrification corporation (REC), is likely to meet later this month for the final decision.

The post of HRD director has been lying vacant since November 2012 after HD Seth's term ended. The post of director, distribution, fell vacant after Arun Verma resigned about four months ago.

The state government had advertised the two posts last month. Several serving and retired engineers-in-chief and chief engineers have applied. As per sources in the state power department, 14 applications have been received for the post of HRD director and 24 for director, distribution.

For the HRD director's post, the top contenders are SK Jain, IM Singh, RP Pandove and SK Arora. IM Singh is the seniormost engineer-in-chief who possesses an MBA degree and is presently serving in the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC). Arora is the engineer-in-chief, HRD, while Pandove holds the charge of chief of administration, PSPCL.

The Pandove family's association with former CM Capt Amarinder Singh is being seen as a stumbling block, even though the top brass in the power department considers him suitable for the post due to his experience in industrial relations and the key role played by him in resolving issues with employees' unions before the unbundling of the Punjab State Electricity Board.

Among the contenders for the post of director, distribution, engineer-in-chief, distribution (north), SS Sarna has got the maximum experience of 24 years in the distribution wing alone. Retired engineer-in-chief VK Gupta is another frontrunner, backed by a senior officer of the state government. Chief engineer, distribution (west), Bathinda, Gurdas Dhaliwal though lower in seniority, is reportedly pulling strings for the post. Another chief engineer, Gurpal Singh, though short of minimum 10 years' experience in the distribution network, is also staking his claim.