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Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh lauds efforts of power engineers
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh lauded the efforts of power engineers as they were doing a commendable job in facilitating the power supply to the country by adoption of latest state-of-the-art technology.

The Chief Minister was addressing the 25th annual general body meeting of the Himachal Pradesh Power Engineer Association (HPEA) at Shimla. He said that the matter regarding grant of grade pay of Rs 6,850 to AEs and AEEs at par with their Punjab counterparts would be decided soon. 

Suneel Grover, Vice Chairman, All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) said that while Government of India policy was giving several incentives and concessions to wind and solar energy, similar incentives should be given to small hydro projects as hydro energy was also non- polluting and environment friendly.

Padamjit Singh, chief Patron, AIPEF said that the government of India bill to amend Electricity Act 2003 and introduce supply licensees to separate wires from supply function is not practically feasible, and would lead to cherry picking by private players that would collapse the financial condition of state Discoms.

The annual ranking exercise of government of India has ranked HPSEB Ltd. at number 11 out of 40 utilities and given B grade whereas most of adverse factors are attributed to state government such as subsidy delay, delay in finalising audited accounts, non-issue of true up tariff order for 2014. As regarding extended outstanding arrears the same could be recovered only if the government supports the Discoms.

S N Upreti in his presidential address said that most of the states have adopted UDAY scheme and requested the Chief Minister to adopt the same so that public can get cheapest power in the country.

He demanded that grant of grade pay of Rs.6850 to AE /AEEs after 4 years of service on the analogy of Punjab should be given to Himachal engineers. Further, electrical engineers should be sent on deputation to SJVNL as government is having 20% share in the project and present engineer's strength is only 9%.

As retirement age of Directors has been enhanced to 60 years there is urgent need of upgrading 25% of chief engineers to the level of engineers-in-chief.

The general body meeting elected R K Pathania and Tushar Gupta as new president and general secretary of the body.

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