July 8, 2021 5:23:53 am
SHIROMANI AKALI Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday demanded that the Congress government in Punjab provide financial package to industry for losses suffered by it due to shutdown “on account of power supply mismanagement”.
He also demanded the power be supplied to the industry “at the promised landing cost of Rs 5 per unit” instead of “Rs 10 per unit the industry was currently paying”.
“After suffering huge losses due to the Covid lockdown since the last one and a half years, the industrial sector is presently in the grip of a power lockdown with the government imposing a three day compulsory off besides closing down large scale industries for five days and reducing contracted power load of continuous supply by fifty per cent. This has broken the back of the industry, which is suffering losses of crores of rupees on a daily basis besides losing orders,” Sukhbir said in a statement.
Asserting that Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh was directly responsible for this state of affairs as he held the power portfolio,” Sukhbir said, “Required purchases should be made immediately to ensure adequate power for the industrial sector. Simultaneously, the industry should be offered a financial package for the losses incurred by it besides deferring collection of bills for the current cycle by two months.”
Sukhbir also demanded a special session of the Vidhan Sabha to “discuss the complete mismanagement of the state electricity utility”.
“PSPCL, which was declared as the best electricity utility in 2015 during the SAD-led government, is now finding it difficult to even supply adequate power to the consumers. Rampant corruption, mismanagement and the Congress government’s failure to add a single megawatt of power in the last four and a half years has led to a situation where farmers are not getting adequate supply for their paddy crop even as unscheduled power cuts are being imposed on domestic consumers,” he said. The Akali leader said the CM owes an explanation to Punjabis as to how a power surplus state has become power deficient.
The SAD president said, “Despite warnings from the engineers of the electricity utility, no attempt was made to conduct any repair and maintenance work before the paddy season. Sufficient electricity arrangements were not made due to the closure of the Bathinda thermal plant as well as two units of the Ropar plant. Even among the private thermal plants, one unit of the Talwandi Sabo plant has been allowed to remain closed since months. Now with its second unit also developing a snag, the power supply situation has worsened”.
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