Alleging that all units of Lehra Mohabbat thermal plant were closed down to facilitate purchasing costly power from private sector plants, former Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa smells rat in the signing of the power purchase agreements with the private players at the cost of public sector thermal plants.
He pointed out that the power produced by the public sector thermal plants was cheaper but the Punjab Power Corporation was bound to purchase specified units of power from the private sector as per the power-purchase agreements even if that meant shutting down own plants if the demand was less.
He accused deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal of playing havoc with the power sector in the state by making the state power utility to pay `2,700 crore yearly to private thermal plants “even if the government didn’t purchase a single unit”. Public sector thermal plants were being run below capacity so that power could be purchased from the private plants, he alleged.
“This is shocking that the state government is splurging to realise the ‘power surplus state’ dream of Sukhbir Badal,” Bajwa said.
Alleging a big scam, he said power generation in public sector plants would be down to about 9,500 million units in 2015-16 as compared to 16,500 million units in 2012-13. “The reduction in power generation by government plants was due to power being purchased from private players. He demanded that all the power purchase agreements signed with private companies, along with the generation capacity of the public sector plants and per unit cost of generation, must be made public,” Bajwa said.