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Adhocism in PSPCL led to its fall from the top
Monday, July 18, 2016, Chandigarh: The adhocism in power sector of Punjab has played havoc with PSPCL's performance in the last two years as the utility slipped from its last year's top position to tenth.

During the last two years, Punjab government has failed to make regular appointments of Directors of PSPCL including Chairman cum Managing Directors (CMD) of PSPCL & PSTCL and also members of PSERC.

Virtually, PSPCL management is working on day to day basis. The indecisiveness and blinkered approach of the government apart from causing demoralisation and resentment in the senior power engineers is telling on the working of PSPCL.

Last year, CMD of PSPCL took all the credit for the turnaround of PSPCL, for its overall very good performance, but this year for its fall from the top, the blame is being shifted to outside agencies.

After expiry of tenure of two Directors of PSPCL in June, 2014 and CMD in February, 2015, all the three are holding charge till further orders. The post of Director HR is lying vacant since November, 2012. In addition to these, the post of CMD PSTCL has not been filled since 2010. Further, one out of two posts of Member PSERC is lying vacant since November, 2014.

About two years back in June, 2014, government advertised the posts of Director/Commercial, Distribution and HR in PSPCL but failed to finalise the appointments. In January, 2016, fresh advertisement for Director commercial post was issued but no appointment was done. In June, 2016 fresh advertisement for post of director Distribution was issued.

A retired senior engineer who applied for the post of Director said that apart from incumbent Directors who are not eligible for reappointment due to age limit, some vested interests are working against the move to appoint new directors.

Long term interests of PSPCL as well as power consumers are not being watched. About Rs 2,700 crore is being paid annually as fixed charges to private thermals without getting any power from them. Surplus power has become a curse as PSPCL has failed to sell it or terminate high cost Power purchase agreements.

PSPCL has failed to make its own captive coal mine in Jharkhand state operational since March, 2015 and instead costly and inferior coal from Coal India and imported coal from Adani's is being used, which is costing Rs 400 crore extra annually.

There is a great resentment amongst the senior power engineers. The decision to extend the tenure of incumbents exposes the hollowness of will of the government to provide clean administration.

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