PRESS RELEASE 04.06.2013
Subject: Congress flays the junior Badal for his saga of unkept promises on surplus power, as Punjab reels under severe unscheduled power cuts.
Even after six years of tall claims and false promises made by the junior Badal for surplus power, Punjab continues to reel under long and unscheduled power cuts in all sectors including industry, agriculture and domestic. Presently there is only four hours supply to agriculture, there are large unannounced and unscheduled power cuts to the industry and so is the case with bare minimum supply to domestic consumers. The Dy. CM reaped rich political dividends in two assembly, one Lok Sabha and many local elections on his fake slogan of surplus power but the state faces acute power shortage.
Although, the SAD-BJP govt. showcased six thermal plants in Punjab but a close perusal shows that surplus power is still a distant dream. Three of the six plants i.e. Kot Shamir 1320 MW, Gobindpura 1320 MW and Gidderbaha thermal plant 2640 MW expected to produce 5280 MW electricity have failed to take off at all.
The other three thermal plants in progress that include Goindwal Sahib 540 MW, Talwandi Sabo 1980 MW and Rajpura plant 1400 MW are not only running behind schedule but are unlikely to honor their clauses of commitment, as there is no appropriate coal linkages provided to them.
All three private promoters building these thermal plants i.e. Sterlite Energy Ltd. Talwandi Sabo, Larsen and Toubro Rajpura and GVK Goindwal Sahib have already entered into direct collision and litigation with the state govt. Two of these companies had filed petitions with the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC), claiming that the govt. had assured them of regular coal supply from the Pachwara (Jharkhand) central coal block owned by the state Govt. The Punjab State Power Corporation limited (PSPCL) has flatly refused to share any of its coal stocks from the Pachwara coal mines to these private companies. These private companies have now moved the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Govt. of India, against the refusal of Punjab govt. to provide them coal.
If the state govt. cannot provide the basic raw material of coal to these private sector thermal plants, how will these companies provide electricity at rates fixed as per their agreements?
Not only there is going to be immense delay in completion of these power plants but the state govt. would definitely have to increase the price of power purchase from these companies, the burden of which would ultimately come on consumers.
To further add to the woes of the people the SAD-BJP govt. has recently hiked power tariffs from 9-13 percent. The PSPCL is further fleecing consumers with Advance Consumption Deposit Scheme (ACDS), charging one and half times of power bills in advance.
Congress alleges that the state govt. has no moral authority to increase power tariffs or make advance charges, as it has totally failed to provide 24 hr supply.
No industry can prosper without adequate power supply, hence the promise of 24 hr supply in the new industrial policy made by Sh. Sukhbir Badal, is likely to meet the same fate as that of his unkept promises earlier. Congress advises the junior Badal not to make a laughing stock by making promises of power supply to West Punjab now in Pakistan. It is yet another perfect example of building castles in the air and daydreaming of which the junior Badal seems to be habitual.
Therefore, the Congress dares the junior Badal to a public debate on his bogus, unkept and false promises of surplus power in Punjab. Either the Dy. CM must give a clear time bound deadline to the people or he must apologize for hoodwinking and cheating on the issue of round the clock power.
SUKHPAL SINGH KHAIRA
Official Spokesperson, PPCC