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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

MP coal crisis intentionally created, claim engineers' body

Padma Shastri, Hindustan Times  Indore, August 22, 2014
First Published: 22:53 IST(22/8/2014) | Last Updated: 16:43 IST(27/8/2014)

The powerful national federation of the  public sector power engineers on Friday claimed that the acute crisis faced by the thermal plants for want of coal has been willfully created.

The 80,000-member strong All India Power Engineers' Federation said the crisis was created by a "calculated" shortage in the newly allocated coal blocks to private players. The association alleged that the thermal fuel crisis has been deliberately created. 

The engineers' body called for a more stringent regulation and audit of the country's natural resources. It has demanded that private players, who are setting up power plants be brought under the purview of  regulatory bodies. 

"A strong regulator is needed to save our natural resources from going into unaccountable hands," said Shailendra Dube, president of All India Power Engineers Federation.. 

"Private companies setting up power plants should be brought under purview of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to know the truth."

The federation also criticized the  government's move to allow public private partnership model in the ultra-mega power projects (UMPPs), a move that it said could lead to the "privatization"' of the state-owned Coal India Limited (CIL).

"It is (a) conspiracy to privatise CIL. If this happens, coal cost will go up and private companies will profit. Private companies will arm twist (the) government to listen to them," said federation secretary P Rathnakar Rao."

"What has happened in the field of natural gas will happen in the  field of coal." "After competitive bidding, the electricity rates have been upwardly revised," Dube added, questioning the government's move to allot UMPPs — Sasan in MP, Tillaiya in Jharkhand, Krishnapttanam in Andhra Pradesh to Reliance Industries and in Mudara (Gujarat) to Tata group— through competitive bidding.


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