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High Court admits PIL against Punjab power-generation policy
Punjab and Haryana High Court today admitted a PIL challenging the Punjab government generation policy of awarding projects under MoU route.

THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court today admitted a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking striking-down of Punjab Government’s impugned power generation policy.

PIL was admitted today by the double bench of the High Court, headed by Chief Justice and Justice Mahesh Grover. A retired PSEB engineer Sukhninder Singh, said the abandonment of the earlier policy of awarding thermal projects to the lowest bidder and allotting thermal projects under memorandum of understanding (MoU) route was against state's interests.

The petition maintained that under this policy any developer can set up a thermal project in Punjab through MOU route where the tariff is to be decided by the PSERC under cost plus approach. The generation policy even allows setting up of extension units to existing projects, earlier awarded under competitive bidding where by the state of Punjab would get only 15% power from the extension unit while 85% of power would be sold by the developer.

It was also mentioned that PSERC had conveyed its objections to the impugned policy to Punjab Government on September 17, 2010 affirming that through competitive bidding, lower tariffs have been achieved and that the competitive bidding procedure should be retained.

The petitioner also contended that the CERC carried out an analysis of the competitive bid tariff of 14 thermal projects and compared this tariff with the tariff that would have been admissible, had the cost plus approach been kept in place. The CERC study established that in 12 out of the 14 projects, the competitive bid tariff was substantially lower as compared to the calculated tariff.

The petitioner has demanded that since the impugned policy, which cannot be implemented within the frame work of Electricity Act 2003, it is required to be struck down also as it would result in costlier power to the consumer. The petitioner was represented by Rajvinder Singh Bains.

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