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Power corp 'hides' union secy from farmers, media

punjab Updated: Jun 19, 2012 15:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Fearing gherao by the farmers union over the erratic power supply, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) kept the visitors at bay during the visit of union power secretary P Uma Shankar on Monday.

During the entire visit, the usually media savvy PSPCL did not allow any media person to meet the union power secretary.

A top official, on the condition of anonymity, said the PSPCL authorities were playing it safe, as they did not wish to entertain any uncomfortable questions on allowing the power generation under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) route.

Flouting the national power generation policy norms, the PSPCL had signed an MoU with Nabha Power Limited for setting up an expansion unit of 700-MW at Rajpura Thermal Plant.Projected as one of the most prestigious power projects, the Rajpura plant was awarded to L&T through the competitive tariff-based bidding process.

Allowing power generation under MoU route is against the national generation policy, but the state government has signed several such projects with the private companies.

Shankar is on a three-day tour to access the power situation in the northern states. After visiting the Bhakra Beas Management Board on Sunday, he visited the PSPCL headquarter and reviewed the ongoing re-structured accelerated power development and reforms programme (R-APDRP).

Sources said the power secretary was unhappy with the performance of PSPCL's R-APDRP programme.The project sponsored by the Centre aims for the establishment of reliable and automated systems for sustained collection of accurate baseline data and adoption of information technology in the power sector.Shankar also took a first-hand account of the performance of the data collection center and assessed the post-unbundling performance of the power corporation. Taking stock of the power situation in the state, he expressed his worries over the overloading of the northern grid.

While the union secretary was reviewing the power situation in the state, the farmers under the banner of the Bharti Kisan Union, held a massive dharna at the Pasiana power supply station for erratic power supply to the farming sector.

The union secretary on Tuesday would hold a meeting with power officials from Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana and Himachal in Chandigarh.