Punjab power engineers protest closure of thermal units

February 13, 2018 07:10 PM

PunjaB News Express/Vinod Gupta
PATIALA: PSEB Engineers’ Association today held a zonal protest meeting at PSPCL Head Office, Patiala to protest against the closure of state sector Thermal Plants at Bathinda and Ropar.

Devinder Goyal General Secretary  said that the government’s claim  that while the Bathinda Thermal Plant and Ropar Thermal Plant have been decided to be closed down as per CEA guidelines  is not a fact but  the said guidelines nowhere mandate the closure of re-heat plants. Further, the guidelines advise that even in case of non-reheat plants which have been renovated, these should be run for at least 10 years more.

 Sanjeev Sood President said that Punjab have decided to close down Bathinda thermal even when Rs. 715 crore  have been spent on renovation of its units and the life of renovated units  has been extended up to 2022 and beyond. He alleged that no other state in the April 2016 meeting of CEA has agreed to close its existing power plants which had been recently renovated.

Padamjit Singh said that while unwarranted haste is being shown in closing the thermals but no action is being taken to execute the Ultra Supercritical Thermal Plant (3x800 MW) planned at Ropar. Association demanded that closure of thermal units be considered only after the commissioning of Ultra Supercritical Thermal Plant at Ropar.

Association deplored the policy of state govt. to run IPPs with lop sided PPA which has resulted in shutting down of state units and same is over burdening the consumers of Punjab through steep tariff hikes.

Association also demanded that the all the Assistant Engineers should be given equal pay start of Rs. 18030/- as being given to all other categories of employees. There is huge resentment in the power engineers as lower pay scale is being given to newly recruited engineers after unbundling.

 Association also demanded to streamline the promotion practices in PSTCL as promotions are being delayed on petty grounds.

It was decided that if the issues raised by Association are not resolved in a time bound manner, then the agitation will be further intensified.

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