Amidst political and public onslaught on Punjab’s power crisis, engineers of the PSPCL alleged that the current situation was a result of the management’s total reliance on private thermal plants.
"Policy lapse like total reliance on private sector thermal plants is the main reason for the present crisis," said a statement from the Punjab State Electricity Board Engineer's Association (PSEBEA).
PSEBEA president Baldev Singh Sran said the new private power plants at Goindwal Sahib, Rajpura and Talwandi Sabo with a total installed capacity of 3920mw were not producing even 500mw of power and the private power producers failed to arrange for coal for their plants.
The PSEBEA and experts from the power sector and economists of the state had been saying that at least one of these private plants should be brought under the state government to maintain a balance between generation by the state and private parties for optimum grid operation and better reliability, Sran said." Had the authorities considered these suggestions, the situation would have been different as Punjab has its own captive coal mines at Pachhwara in Jharkhand and Deocha in West Bengal which will be sufficient to produce electricity for the state's needs," he added.
Saying that imported coal used by private plants would shoot the tariff to as high as Rs 5 per unit, he highlighted that Haryana had added three new thermal plants at Yamunanagar, Hisar and Jhajjar in the past five years. Whereas, Punjab has not added a single plant under the state sector, he briefed.
"Though the Punjab government had approved the setting up of a 1320 mw thermal project under the state sector at Mukerian, the PSPCL has done nothing to kick start it in the last three years," he said.