Panem Coal Mines Limited, which has challenged the results of testing of coal supplied to Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant here, has withdrawn its request for third-party testing after HT highlighted variations in the results.
Sources said Panem had challenged the test results of 85 rakes of coal supplied to the thermal plant from January to March. A high-level meeting between the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) and Panem was held last month following the HT report, 'Variation in results raises question over coal sampling at Rupnagar thermal plant' (October 26).
Subsequently, the PSPCL chief engineer, thermal design, was asked to enquire about the matter. The report is still awaited.
It is suspected that referee samples were allegedly tampered with by Panem officials in connivance with thermal plant officials. Lower-rung thermal plant officials allegedly had got duplicate keys of rooms where the coal samples were kept.
The Rupnagar thermal plant authorities have now taken steps to streamline coal sampling and testing at the plant. Senior officials have replaced locks of rooms where samples were kept. Due to this move, test results of the past three months have improved, said a plant official.
At present, only six out of 14 thermal units are running and the coal stock at the Rupnagar plant is sufficient for 14 days. At the Lehra Mohabbat thermal plant (Bathinda), the coal stock is for 18 days.
When contacted, Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant chief engineer HP Singh confirmed that Panem had intimated that it did not want to get third-party testing of coal done.