Short of formal extension, Chaudhri to stay PSPCL chief ‘till further orders’

  • Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Feb 06, 2015 08:38 IST

Rather than granting him a formal extension, the state government has asked KD Chaudhri to continue as chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) “till further”. His term ends on February 8, and the order is being seen as a bid to avoid a direct conflict with the engineers’ association that wants Chaudhri gone.

Now, including the CMD, four of the seven directors of the corporation are working “till further orders”, furthering an ‘ad hoc culture’. The process for selection of new directors was initiated in August, but so far no final decision has been taken.

Secretary, power, A Venu Parsad on Wednesday evening issued the orders for Chaudhri to stay on his post, seeking a middle path in the collision course with the PSEB Engineers’ Association (‘PSEB’ in the name refers to the since-restructured Punjab State Electricity Board).

But the “till further orders” ploy doesn’t seem to be working that well. In a letter to deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, the engineers’ body has objected strongly to this virtual extension. “The association had explicitly and unequivocally articulated its view regarding need for fixed tenure of management to protect the interests of power sector and its other stakeholders,” said association president Baldev Singh Sran.

The PSPCL board has seven directors. Apart from the CMD, directors for commercial, distribution and finance functions are working “till further orders” since the past four months. The post of director of human resources is vacant. Only the directors for generation and administration are serving fixed tenures.

“The board of directors of PSPCL is virtually become temporary, without any tenure. This is detrimental to the long-term interests of the power sector,” Sran added.

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