In a first, Punjab to hold interviews for power corporation CMD | punjab | top | Hindustan Times
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In a first, Punjab to hold interviews for power corporation CMD

PSPCL and PSTCL were bifurcated out of the erstwhile Punjab State Electricity Board in 2010. A Venu Prasad, an IAS officer, holds the CMD charge at PSPCL now. The selection of PSTCL CMD will take place later.

punjab Updated: Apr 25, 2018 11:07 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
A selection committee comprising Punjab chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh, additional chief secretary, power, Satish Chandra and Power Finance Corporation chairman Rajeev Sharma has called four technocrats for the interview.
A selection committee comprising Punjab chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh, additional chief secretary, power, Satish Chandra and Power Finance Corporation chairman Rajeev Sharma has called four technocrats for the interview. (HT File )

In a first, the state government is holding interviews on April 26 (Thursday) to select the chairman and managing director (CMD) of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL). This is a departure from the previous practice of selecting the officer through a screening of service record, with the chief minister giving the final nod. This is also said to be a first in 60 years.

PSPCL and Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited (PSTCL) were bifurcated out of the erstwhile Punjab State Electricity Board in 2010. A Venu Prasad, an IAS officer, holds the CMD charge at PSPCL now. The selection of PSTCL CMD will take place later.

A selection committee comprising Punjab chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh, additional chief secretary, power, Satish Chandra and Power Finance Corporation chairman Rajeev Sharma has called four technocrats for the interview.

Know the 4 contenders
  • Harbans Singh Sandhu, an electrical engineer, is regional executive director, National Thermal Power Corporation; hails from Garhshankar in Hoshiarpur; can be second ‘outsider’ to head state power utility
  • NK Sharma is director, distribution, PSPCL; has support of industrialists’ lobby; comes from Rampura Phul, the segment of state power minister
  • Baldev Singh Sran, a retired chief engineer (hydel) in PSPCL, has the engineers lobbying for him; his family from Bathinda, known to be supporters of state’s ruling party Congress
  • SK Puri, a retired engineer-in-chief, has experience in thermal generation; owes allegiance to a religious sect that is supporting his case

42 had applied

“Forty-two applications were received, of which we shortlisted four. We decided to hold interviews, as one of the shortlisted candidates is from out of Punjab,” Chandra said. Of the four, the committee will recommend two names in the order of merit to Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh through the state’s power minister for final selection of the incumbent.

Of the four on the list, Harbans Singh Sandhu, an electrical engineer, is regional executive director, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). At the NTPC, he is the incharge of the western region controlling at least 10,000 MW in the states of Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.He has a clean service record and is known as a trouble-shooter in the NTPC.

Hailing from Garhshankar in Hoshiarpur, he is said to have no political support. If selected, he will be the second outsider after NS Vasant, who had led the erstwhile PSEB for a decade. Vasant had worked with the Central Electricity Authority, before coming here.

The other three are retired engineers from the PSPCL. NK Sharma, now working as director, distribution, with the PSPCL, has a lacklustre performance. However, he has the support of an industrialists’ lobby backing him for the top post and hails from Rampura Phul, the constituency of the state’s new power minister.

Former president of PSEB Engineers Association, Baldev Singh Sran, a retired chief engineer (hydel), in the PSPCL is also on the list. He has engineers lobbying for him. He has years of experience in generation and distribution of power. His family, from Bathinda, has been known Congress supporters.

SK Puri, the fourth name, is a retired engineer-in-chief and has vast experience in thermal generation. He owes allegiance with a religious sect that is supporting his case. Sran and Puri were also shortlisted for the post of director, generation, in the PSPCL. The government, however, is waiting for a decision on the CMD, before it takes up the file of the director’s post.