CHANDIGARH: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab has blamed the central and the Punjab government for the acute power crisis in Punjab and the country, stating that all of this is a ploy by corporate houses to sacrifice the country’s remaining government thermal plants for private companies. While domestic power consumers have been harried due to unannounced long power cuts due to deadly policies and intentions of the governments; Covid is once again pushing the emerging trade and industry sector to the brink of financial crisis.
In a statement issued from the party headquarters here on Monday, senior leader of the AAP and MLA Aman Arora said, “It is the responsibility of the Union government to supply coal to the public and private thermal plants in Punjab, but the Modi government has been reluctant to supply coal under a conspiracy. Coal is not being supplied to thermal plants in states including Punjab and Delhi, which has led to the threat of thermal plant shutdowns and power outages in the states.”
He said that on one hand, Union Power Minister R.K. Singh claimed that there was no coal crisis but on the other hand UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is writing letters for the supply of coal. Aman Arora expressed doubts whether the coal crisis was artificial. Either the big corporate houses involved in the coal and power business get licenses to loot at arbitrary prices or this artificial crisis is a conspiracy to divert the country’s attention from Lakhimpur Kheri carnage, displacement of Sikhs in Shillong and terror attacks on Hindus and Sikhs in Jammu and Kashmir, he said.
Criticizing the Congress and the SAD-BJP governments that have been in power in Punjab so far, Aman Arora said, “The Captain and Badal governments have closed down the government thermal plants in Punjab and increased their dependence on private thermal plants for power supply, which is proving to be dangerous for Punjabis today. The power deals made by the Badals with the corporators were creating power crisis and robbing the people of Punjab.”
Arora alleged that the BJP government at the Centre and the Congress government in Punjab were playing into the hands of corporate houses and deceiving the people. He asked, “When India has a stock of 400 lakh tonnes of coal, why is the supply of coal not being provided to the states? Why no action has been taken against private thermal plant owners who have stopped buying coal from abroad at their level? Like the Badals and Captain, why is the present Channi government not canceling power purchase agreements (PPAs) with private thermal plants to reduce power generation?”
The AAP leader said the private thermal plants of Punjab had one day of coal left while the government plants had four days of coal; which had created power crisis in Punjab. While the thermal plant was required to have coal reserves for 22 to 25 days as per the rules, the private thermal plants in Punjab did not manage the coal, but unlike the Badals, the Congress government did not take any action on the private thermal plants. If the government so desires, strict action can be taken against private companies violating the CEA guidelines.
Aman Arora said that the power crisis would have a detrimental effect on the yield of the ripening paddy crop in Punjab as it was time to irrigate the paddy crop for the last time but due to lack of power supply the crop could not be irrigated. While this will have a direct impact on paddy yield, it will severely affect wheat sowing, especially direct sowing.