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AAP strongly opposes proposal to shutdown State owned thermal plants
Aam Aadmi Party MLA and leader of Opposition in Punjab Vidhan Sabha Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Wednesday vehemently opposed the Government proposal to shut down the thermal power plants of Bathinda, Lehra Mohabbat and Roopnagar.
“It is astonishing that although the Central Government has recently spent Rs 750 crore for the renovation and modernisation of Bathinda thermal plant, which can produce electricity till the year 2025, the Government is adamant to shut it down,” said Khaira.
Khaira stated that apart from losing assets worth Rs 9,000 crore, more than 6,300 regular and contractual employees will lose 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 6,300 families.
“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,” he wondered.
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.
“It is surprising that Chief Minister 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 Singh 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,” he said.
Khaira further disclosed that the State owned thermal plants have been running at merely 10-15 per cent of their installed capacity lately because the PSPCL is buying power from the private thermal plant companies.
He urged the three-member sub-committee headed by the State Health Minister Brahm Mohindera to issue a white paper on the current power situation in view of its proposal to close down the 3 State owned plants.
He added 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.
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