PSPCL CMD retires, A Venu Prasad assumes charge
After a two-year eventful stint, Baldev Singh Sran, retired as chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL). Senior bureaucrat and principal secretary power, A Venu Prasad, has assumed charge in his place.
Sran, a power engineer, was known for taking decisions on merit, ignoring political considerations. His drive against power theft drew the ire of some ruling party MLAs, with the public welcoming such moves. He brought down the transmission and distribution losses of the PSPCL, and also worked to use resources of private thermal plants for banking of power in winters, for the state to draw in summers.
He remained at loggerheads with private thermal plants over coal-washing and fixed charges. Vocal and firm, Sran took several decisions against the wishes of the state government, including the suspension of a chief engineer. He is privy to the ‘White Paper’ on establishment of private thermal plants. The Congress government did not present the White Paper in the House in the last assembly session, as some top bureaucrats are reportedly shown in adverse light in the report.
In his failures, he could not restart the Pachwara coal mine in Jharkhand for the utility’s use and could not set up a new power project under the state sector. Before assuming charge as CMD, he had consistently raised the demand for such a project. A section in the distribution wing of power engineers also remained non-cooperative in the implementation of his ideas. Before demitting office, Sran wrote a letter to PSPCL staff, thanking them for their cooperation.
The new CMD, Prasad, had served in this post for more than a year before the selection of Sran. “I have assumed charge and ensuring proper supply during paddy sowing is my first priority,” said Prasad, who is also principal secretary for water resource and mining, and financial commissioner, excise and taxation.