PSEB Engineer’s association raised objections over its management’s inability to safeguard power sector
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in/ Chandigarh
In a Zonal meeting held at Bathinda, PSEB Engineers’ Association criticised PSPCL management and Punjab Government for going against the interest of the common people of Punjab and not being able to safeguard the interest of the power sector. It was informed that PSPCL management in cohorts with district administration Bathinda has transferred land valuing 4000 Cr of GNDTP to Housing and Urban Development Department and is now planning to sell this valuable land at Rupee 1 to Private Players for 99 years. Just to fulfil the coffers of few private players on the name of a proposed pharmaceutical park, this is not only a stab in the back of farmers of Bathinda who vacated their land for Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant, but is a betrayal with the people of Punjab.
Earlier, it was proposed that revenue from Sale of 1764 acres of land would be reinvested in the Power Sector which would have helped to reduce tariff for the consumers of the State but now this valuable land in the heart of Bathinda City would be offered for free to the private players. Further, it was informed that PSPCL management has agreed to allow district administration to occupy houses at Thermal colony, Bathinda on a very nominal rent while earlier BOD, PSPCL has decided to sell these houses to Punjab Govt. against payment. Alleging that a big land grabbing is going on in Bathinda, the members alleged that this is being done to enable the private players to grab the land of district administration at civil Lines at throwaway prices while the burden will be shared by people of punjab in shape of higher tariff as the revenue of PSPCL is being sacrificed by Management.
Er Padamjit Singh Chief Patron AIPEF informed that the Punjab Government in their own wisdom decided to close down a running plant with plenty of useful life still remaining. All proposals of the power sector experts to establish a Biomass/ Paddy Stubble Plant and Solar Plant were rejected by the Government. These proposals would have helped provide cheaper renewable electricity to the consumers of the State and would have helped in reducing the cost of electricity.
Er Jasvir Singh Dhiman, President of the Association informed that while PSPCL management is throwing away a large amount of revenue, it is taking impractical decisions in the name of decreasing expenditure. Elaborating further, he stated that PSPCL management has recently taken a decision of dispensing with the services of 500 outsourced workers ignoring the views expressed by Engineers that it will be practically impossible to deliver quality power without these persons. Irony is that while PSPCL management ignored the views of engineers and decided to save Rs. 5 crore with this, it sacrificed the revenue of Rs. 1 crore being collected from M/s Gujrat Ambuja who has been asked to vacate the land so that it can be given free to land mafia. Er Jasvir, demanded that PSPCL should reverse this decision and PSPCL management can save this much amount by closing down the Guest houses run at Bathinda/ Badal/Malout/ delhi/ Chandigarh/Mohali. Terming this as wasteful expenditure, he stressed that while engineers going to these places for official work were denied stay, the private persons were allowed free stay/food. Members dare the PSPCL management to make public all the booking done on these Guest houses in the past five years showing the occupancy by PSPCL officers on duty to justify the expenditure. Members condemned the delay in granting pay scale of Rs. 18030 to AE’s, decision of stoppage of Generation Incentive and decreasing the contribution of NPS from 14 % to 10 %. Terming it as violation of TPA members demanded immediate reversal of these. It was warned that if PSPCL management fails to protect the interest of the power sector then the Association will be forced to start a Statewide agitation.
Members appealed to CM to intervene and got these decisions reversed. This meeting was attended by engineers of Bathinda, Muktsar, Faridkot, Ferozepur and Mansa Districts.