Chandigarh, 11 October(Wishav Warta): Aam Aadmi Party opposed the government proposal to shut down the thermal power plants of Bathinda, Lehra Mohabbat and Roopnagar. Leader Of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira released a statement on Wednesday. He said it is astonishing that although the Government of India has recently spent Rs. 750 crore for the renovation and modernisation of the Bathinda thermal plant, which can produce electricity till the year 2025 yet the government is adamant to shut it down. Khaira stated that apart from loosing assets worth Rs. 9,000 crore more than 6300 regular and contractual employees will loose their livelihood. In other words he said, instead of providing one job per family as per its election manifesto, the Congress government is going to steal bread and butter of these 6300 families.
Khaira elaborated and wondered what would the Punjab government do with its 750 million tonnes coal quota being allocated shortly, as this coal quota can only be used for state owned plants and can’t be given to private plants. The PSPCL Khaira said has got a Rs. 1100 crore shock by the Larson & Turbo subsidiary Nabha Power Limited (NPL) Rajpura as coal washing cost, after the Supreme Court decision couple of days back. Khaira warned the Punjab government that power tariff is likely to shoot up on account of a condition incorporated in the PPA’s signed between the PSPCL and private thermal plant companies, according to which PSPCL has to pay a minimum amount for power even if not utilised by the state.
Khaira said it was surprising that Capt. Amarinder Singh while in opposition had opposed tooth and nail setting up of private thermal plants in Punjab, accusing the junior Badal of colluding with the private players to grease his palms besides terming them as threat to the environment of Punjab. His crony Power Minister Rana Gurjeet had also issued a statement promising to review the PPA’s of these private thermal plant companies with the PSPCL, but thereafter made a U-turn after shaking hands with them and making his cut.
Khaira further disclosed that the state owned thermal plants have been running at merely 10-15 % of their installed capacity lately because the PSPCL is buying power from the private thermal plant companies. He said if the government wanted it could use the 750 millions tonnes coal to increase the capacity of the state owned plants atleast till the year 2025, which will also give ample time and notice to the thousands of families likely to be uprooted by closure of state owned plants.
Khaira urged the 3 member sub committee headed by Brahm Mohindera Health Minister to issue a white paper on the current power situation in view of its proposal to close down the 3 state owned plants. He further said that the proposal to shut down these plants should be first debated on the floor of the house and only then the government should take appropriate decision.
Khaira said that AAP fully supports the cause of thousands of regular and contractual employees of state owned plants and assures them to take up this burning issue, in the ensuing session of the Vidhan Sabha.