Asianet NewsableAsianet Newsable

Navjot Sidhu presents his Punjab model for 24-hour power

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is on the warpath against Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, has fired yet another salvo at the latter, questioning him over his government's handling of the power crisis.

Navjot Sidhu presents his Punjab model for 24-hour power-VPN
Author
Amritsar, First Published Jul 2, 2021, 1:03 PM IST
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Whatsapp

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is on the warpath against Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, has fired yet another salvo at the latter, questioning him over his government's handling of the power crisis.

Presenting the Punjab model for power, Sidhu took to Twitter to state that the money spent on giving undue and excessive benefits to private thermal plants should be used for the welfare of the people.

He said that subsidizing free electricity for domestic use (up to 300 units), 24-hour supply and investing in education and health care is the best power model for Punjab.

Assembly elections are due in Punjab next year. Amid the rising election tempo, the state has been reeling under massive power cuts. In fact, 14-15 hour power cuts have left the people fuming and in anguish. 

Sidhu took a dig at Captain Amarinder Singh's decision to keep the air-conditioning off in government offices when they start operating from July 10 between 8 am to 2 pm.

The Punjab Congress leader said that there is no need for a power cut in Punjab. 

If we work in the right direction, there is no need to reduce office hours or stop air-conditioning, he said.

Sidhu said that Punjab buys electricity at an average rate of Rs 4.54 per unit against the national average of Rs 3.85. In Chandigarh, electricity is purchased at Rs 3.44 per unit. Sidhu said that Punjab has to rely heavily on three thermal plants to procure power. From here, electricity has to be purchased at the rate of Rs 5-8 per unit. It is expensive as compared to other states.

He alleged that the erstwhile Badal government had signed Power Purchase Agreements with three private thermal power plants in Punjab. 

Punjab has already paid Rs 5400 crore till 2020 due to faulty clauses in these agreements, and further Rs 65,000 crore will be paid as fixed charges. 

Punjab can buy power from National Grid at much cheaper rates, but these PPAs signed by Badal are working against the public interest of Punjab.

Punjab cannot renegotiate these PPAs due to legal protection. Still, the Punjab Legislative Assembly can bring a new law for power purchase at the prices available on the National Power Exchange. Amending the law would end these agreements. 

Sidhu said that Punjab's revenue per unit consumption is the lowest in India due to gross mismanagement of the entire power purchase and supply system. 

PSPCL pays additional paise of 0.18 per unit on each unit supplied. This is when a subsidy of more than Rs 9000 crore is given from the state. Renewable energy is becoming cheaper as well as being environmentally friendly. Central financial schemes can be availed for these projects, but Punjab's potential from solar and biomass energy remains unutilized.

Follow Us:
Download App:
  • android
  • ios