CHANDIGARH: Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday demanded action against private thermal power plants in the state for “punishing” consumers for not having sufficient stock of coal for power generation.
His remarks come a day after state-owned utility Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) was forced to cut power generation and implement load shedding in the wake of severe coal shortage.
“Punjab should stop and prepare instead of repent and repair…Private thermal plant floating guidelines, domestic consumers should be penalized for not keeping coal stock for 30 days. It is based on Solar PPAs and Grid Connected Roof-Top Solar It’s time to act aggressively!” Sidhu tweeted.
As per the guidelines of the Central Electricity Authority, power plants located at a distance of more than 1,000 km from a coal mine should always have minimum coal reserves of up to 30 days, but this level of stock is not maintained by power plants in the state.
A PSPCL official had said on Saturday that power plants in the state were running at low capacity due to insufficient coal supply.
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Saturday hit out at the Center for inadequate coal supply and feared closure of thermal power plants in the state in the next few days due to rapidly depleting coal supplies.
He said that Punjab was not getting enough coal supply despite agreements with various subsidiaries of Coal India Limited and asked the central government to immediately ensure the state’s coal quota to tide over the power crisis.
PSPCL had on Saturday appealed to power consumers to save electricity in the light of “acute shortage” of coal in the country.