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Tainted official appointed PSPCL director, distribution

Former chief engineer NK Sharma, who grabbed important post, was recently indicted for shielding Ludhiana-based Akali leader in power theft case

punjab Updated: Jun 08, 2017 21:18 IST
Vishal Rambani
Vishal Rambani
Hindustan Times, Patiala
PSPCL,NK Sharma,director
(HT Representative Image)

The Punjab government has appointed NK Sharma, retired chief engineer of Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL), who was recently indicted in an internal probe for shielding a Ludhiana-based Akali leader in a power theft case, as director (distribution), PSPCL.

Besides, OP Garg has been appointed as director (commercial) of the corporation.

The selection will end adhocism in the PSPCL where charges of director (distribution) and director (commercial) were being held by KL Sharma and Surinder Pal, respectively, since June 2014 ‘till further orders’.

In the hierarchy of the power corporation, both these directors are considered most powerful after the chairman-cum-director (CMD). The PSPCL has 40,000 employees and caters to around 85 lakh consumers.

NK Sharma is considered a close aide of former CMD KD Chaudhry.

Meanwhile, a senior PSPCL official said the appointment of Sharma has raised questions over the selection process. “While some candidates were rejected at the short-listing stage over minor show-cause notices, Sharma was chosen even as he was indicted by director (distribution) for not protecting the interests of the corporation in unauthorised use of electricity at the premises of Sokhi Steels, owned by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Ludhiana district president Jagbir Sokhi,” he said.

“In a letter to MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains, CMD A Venu Prasad had admitted that a probe is going on against NK Sharma, but despite that he forwarded his name for director (distribution). The issue will be taken up with the government,” he added.

However, Venu Prasad said the chief minister’s office has given nod to the appointment of both the directors and they were selected on merit.

First Published: Jun 08, 2017 21:13 IST