PSPCL has decided to set up a new thermal plant at Mukerian in the state sector as PSEB Engineers Association had been demanding for a long time.
PUNJAB STATE Power Corporation (PSPCL) has decided to set up a 1320 MW thermal project under the state sector at Mukerian - announced H S Bedi, President of PSEB Engineers Association, while deferring their proposed protest march.
The Association had a meeting with PSPCL management where it was informed that PSPCL has identified two sites near Mukerian and a formal announcement by Punjab government is expected shortly. PSPCL assured the Association that the government is favourably inclined to set up a plant under state sector for which formal approval is expected.Engineers were agitating against the policy of the Punjab government to hand over all its future thermal projects to private players and totally ignoring the need to set up plants under state sector to ensure affordable power to the consumers. Chief Minister Punjab at the time of unbundling of PSEB in April, 2010, assured the Association that at least one thermal plant will be set up under the state sector. Even a group of ministers was constituted to examine this issue in August 2010 but without waiting for its report, the Gidderbaha thermal plant was handed over to NTPC. Thereafter, some more MoUs were signed with private players for setting up plants in Punjab ignoring not only the importance for keeping healthy mix of private and state sector generating capacity but also the advisories of Central Electricity Regulatory Commission and Punjab Commission that electricity from plants set up under MOU route is the costliest as compared to plants set up under state sector or through competitive route.Bhupinder Singh, General Secretary of Association, said that the other major demand of the Association was recruitment of engineers on regular basis and not on contract for 3 years with fixed pay. The state government had already decided last week to withdraw the act for contract recruitment for which Association thanked Chief Minister and cabinet Ministers.