Northern India Power Engineers Federation (NIPEF) has expressed serious concern at the blatant privatisation of the generation capacity addition in the country and has urged the Government to encourage generation capacity addition under the state sector.
Padamjit Singh Chief Patron AIPEF said that all the states should have at least 70 per cent share in the total generation to optimise the grid operation and to lower the cost of power. The over dependence on private sector for capacity addition the state sector thermal plants are forced to back down and states such as Punjab, UP and Haryana are facing lot of operational problems due to one reason or the other.
The engineers argued that the states share in the generation mix is steadily going down in many states, which is adversely affecting the state from the flexibility in grid operations and thus raising the cost of power. The private sector thermal plants are run on the sole motive of profit, which is at the cost of the consumers whereas states owned thermal projects can be scheduled as per the states need depending on the demand. The engineers stressed that 70-80 per cent of the generation mix should be in the state/ central sector for optimum grid operation.
Bhupinder Singh Secretary General NIPEF said that in case of Punjab, the generation capacity addition under the state sector has been totally ignored for more than a decade and the state is facing lot of contractual problems from the three private sector thermal plants. The execution of the 1320 MW Mukerian Thermal Project under state sector is moving at snail's pace despite the availability of cheaper indigenous coal from our own captive coal mine for which Punjab shall pay dearly in the years to come.
R S Dahiya Chairman NIPEF said that a majority of MOU's signed by the private players in Uttar Pradesh and Himachal have not taken off as yet. The private sector thermal plants are managing to alter the power purchase agreements thereby resulting in increase in cost of power purchased by the Discoms leading to tariff increase.
The sole motive of these private plants is profit and not social responsibility. The state's share in the generation mix is going down steadily across the country thereby seriously eroding the state's control in this vital sector, which should be a cause of concern.