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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Amarinder raps Punjab govt for power shortage

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, June 03, 2014
First Published: 23:27 IST(3/6/2014) | Last Updated: 23:32 IST(3/6/2014)

Lashing out at the SAD-BJP government for severe power shortage in the state, former Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Tuesday asked it to clarify its position about the prevailing power situation.

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He said that much against the claims of surplus power by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal, who also holds the power portfolio, the state was reeling under severe power shortage and the situation was likely to get worse in the coming days when the paddy transplantation would start amid the forecast of a poor monsoon.

He strongly opposed any move to increase power tariff as it was already one of the highest in the country.

In a statement issued here, Amarinder also asked the government to spell out the status of various private power plants in the state and when these were going to be completed and whether they had any commitment towards providing power to Punjab; if yes, at which rates.

The former chief minister said the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) was reeling under severe financial crisis with recurring losses. He said one of the main reasons for the losses was the failure of the state government to compensate the PSPCL for the free power provided to the agriculture sector. He said this was hitting the PSPCL as it was not able to buy coal that was affecting the power generation and the result was the power shortage.

He said the PSPCL was trying to make up the losses by regularly increasing the power tariff making it one of the highest in the country.

Referring to the poor monsoon forecast this year, he asked the government whether it had chalked out any plan or was it just waiting for the farmers to come out on the roads to protest.

Amarinder also opposed any move by the state government to increase power tariff for the industrial sector.

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