Power crisis in state due to PSPCL’s poor management, say engineers
Demand appointment of a career technocrat as chairman-cum-managing director of the utility by removing the incumbent, an IAS officer
The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) engineers have termed the power crisis during the ongoing paddy sowing season in the state a failure of the corporation management and have demanded that a career technocrat should be appointed as chairman-cum-managing director of the utility by removing the incumbent, an IAS officer.
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) Engineers’ Association on Friday issued a statement criticising the management and the state government for going against the interests of people of Punjab and that of the power sector.
Association president Jasvir Singh Dhiman said, “Due to gross mismanagement, engineers are facing the wrath of people on the ground over irregular supply of electricity. The wrong decisions being taken by the management will cost the consumers dearly as they will result in irregular power supply and higher tariffs.”
“Our fears have come true as Punjab is facing an acute power crisis during the peak summer. Due to improper planning, neither sufficient manpower was arranged nor proper material was procured. Now, the management’s claims of adequate power availability stand exposed as recurring power cuts are being imposed. Besides, inadequate power is being supplied to farmers,” he added.
“It was due to this mismanagement that two healthy units of the Rupnagar thermal plants have been closed. There is an urgent need to revive these two units. The state government decided to shut down the Rupnagar units without any alternate arrangements going against the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) guidelines and ignoring the warnings of power engineers,” Dhiman said.
The association said despite an acute manpower shortage at both plants, all PSPCL thermal plants are providing power at full capacity to the state at this crucial juncture.
The private thermal plant at Talwandi Sabo, despite knowing well in advance about the power demand during the paddy sowing season, failed to ensure timely repairs, further pushing the state into a power crisis during the peak demand, it added.
A 660 megawatt (MW) unit of the plant has been non-functional for the last 4 months.
PSPCL CMD A Venu Prasad said the failure of Talwandi Sabo plant to start its unit has caused the crisis. “Penalty was imposed on the plant for its failure to start the unit during the peak season. But we have made adequate arrangements by purchasing power from the grid. The PSPCL is committed to provide 8 hours power supply to farmers,” he added.