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Coal supply: Punjab power minister accuses Centre of bias against state

He said despite all the problems, the Punjab government will ensure 8-hour regular supply to farmers during the paddy season.

punjab Updated: Jun 06, 2018 21:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Gurpreet Singh Kangar
Privately run power plants in Punjab facing a severe shortage of coal.(HT Photo/ for representation)

With privately run power plants in Punjab facing a severe shortage of coal, Punjab power minister Gurpreet Singh Kangar on Wednesday accused the Centre of discriminating with the state with regards to allocation of coal for electricity generation.

“The Centre is creating hurdles in the way of smooth operations of power plants in Punjab as coal supply has become erratic,” said Kangar, who was at the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) head office when its new chief managing director (CMD) Baldev Singh Sran assumed charge.

The minister said the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is in cahoots with its coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to stop the coal supply through Coal India Limited to create hurdles in power generation.

“Since the Congress formed government in the state, the coal supply to Punjab plants has come down drastically. Larsen and Toubro (L&T)’s Rajpura plant is running at half of its capacity. I have taken up the matter with the Centre that they need to ensure proper coal supply to Punjab. In neighbouring Haryana, all power plants have enough coal stock, which means that the Centre is doing this deliberately,” he said.

He said despite all the problems, the Punjab government will ensure 8-hour regular supply to farmers during the paddy season. The government will take a decision on third party audit of all power plants, he said.

He said that the decision of shutting Bathinda Power Plant was taken during SAD-BJP regime, which is now shedding crocodile tears. “WE have just implemented the decision”, he justified. He said that the PSPCL will soon open new requirement to fill vacant posts.