Claiming scams in the Akali-BJP government’s making Punjab ‘power surplus’, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) issued a ‘white paper’ on Punjab Power Scenario on Wednesday alleging grave irregularities that led to doubling of electricity rates in the past nine years of the government.
The paper released by AAP spokesperson Chander Suta Dogra and head of legal wing Himmat Singh Shergill states that the government has lost Rs 3,745 crore annually in following a special power generation policy for private power plants.
Faulty power purchase agreements (PPA) were signed in which the government agreed to pay huge sums to private thermal power plants (Talwandi Sabo, Rajpura and Goindwal Sahib) as fixed capacity charges, even for sitting idle during low-demand periods, said Dogra.
“The agreements allowed the government to purchase expensive power from such plants,” she alleged. She added that state-owned thermal power plants that produce cheaper power are forced to run at less than half their capacity. “Against a capacity to generate more than 17,000 million units annually, they will generate only 7,300 MU in 2016-17, so that state can buy more power from expensive private producers. This is a result of the government’s exaggerated projection of power shortage, on the basis of which new projects were approved in the last few years. The surplus power capacity of 18,000 MU in the private sector is a Rs 2,500-crore load now borne by consumers,” she said.
“The most tragic case is of Goindwal Sahib plant run by the GVK group, wherein PSERC has approved PSPCL proposal to surrender 100% power in the very first year of its operation while paying Rs 414 crore as fixed capacity charge,” said Dogra.