The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) Engineers' Association has condemned the recent decision of the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) and Punjab State Transmission Corporation Ltd (PSTCL) managements of levying a condition of having prior sanction of the Punjab government for upgrade or creation of posts.
The engineers' association said it was like undermining the autonomy of the power companies, which was against the very concept of creating corporate entities and granting them full freedom for running their affairs to provide efficient service to consumers.
Association president Baldev Singh Sran said that to represent the state government's point of view, two government nominees - power secretary and finance secretary -- had been inducted in to the board of directors of both the companies and even then sending any issue to the state government for decisions was just a ploy of the managements to stall the implementation of proposals for betterment of consumer service.
The association also criticised the "lopsided" policy of the PSPCL management of not creating adequate infrastructure for strengthening of transmission and distribution system to ensure quality supply and service to consumers.
"Around 5,000 MW of generation is likely to be added in the state in the next couple of years and matching sub-transmission/transmission and distribution and other infrastructure was required to be created on a war footing. The existing transmission and distribution system is excessively overloaded and obsolete, which needs immediate augmentation and upgrade, but due to inadequate organisational structure, the work is being delayed," said the association in a statement issued here.
Stressing the need to upgrade the manpower of engineers, the association said the quality of supervision of transmission works was suffering because of excessive workload of engineers. This would seriously affect the quality and reliability of supply to the consumers in the state, the association said.
"The maintenance and upkeep of the existing grid sub-stations has also been ignored. SDOs are manning 30-35 grid sub-stations against the norms of 6-7 grids, which leads to poor supervision of maintenance of grid substations. As the new grids are being added every year, their maintenance assumes utmost importance for providing quality supply to the consumers," said the president. "In a meeting with chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, the engineers had apprised Badal of these issues on December 5 last year.
The CM had also issued instructions to the PSPCL and PSTCL managements to immediately look into the grievances of the engineers, but nothing has been done till date," said Sran.