‘Act in right direction’: Navjot Singh Sidhu suggests Punjab govt measures to solve power crisis
2nd July, 2021
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has been belabouring Chief Minister Amarinder Singh with accusations over the past few months, hit out at the Punjab government on Friday over the state’s power crisis.
Asking the Chief Minister to “act in the right direction”, Sidhu listed a several reasons that are causing Punjab’s power woes. “Power purchase costs: Punjab is purchasing power at an average cost of Rs 4.54 per unit, whereas national average is Rs 3.85 per unit and Chandigarh is paying Rs 3.44 per unit. Punjab’s high dependency on 3 private thermal plants at Rs 5-8 per unit makes Punjab pay more than other states,” he wrote on Twitter.
He also added that, “Punjab government had signed PPAs with 3 private thermal power plants in Punjab. Till 2020, Punjab has already paid Rs 5,400 crore due to faulty clauses in these agreements and is now expected to pay Rs 65,000 crore of Punjab people’s taxes just as fixed charges.”
The comments come at a time when the Punjab government, which is already reeling under an never done before on going power crisis, ordered curtailment in timings of government offices from Friday, and cutting down of power supply to energy-guzzling industries with immediate effect, to save crops and ease the domestic power crisis.
Requesting the government to bring in legislation to declare the agreements null and void, the senior Congress leader said, “Punjab state legislative assembly can bring in new legislation with retrospective effect to cap power purchase costs to prices available on the National Power Exchange at any given time. Thus, by amending the law, finally these agreements will become null and void.”
Hitting out at the Amarinder Singh-led government for giving “unreasonable and exuberant profits to private thermal plants”, Sidhu asked them to emphasise on the welfare of the people by providing them subsidies on power tariffs and investing the money into healthcare and education.