Union urges probe into delay in repairs at Bhakra hydro unit

Letter to PM flags loss of ₹100 cr as 157 MW unit remains non-operational for several months

August 23, 2021 06:49 pm | Updated 06:49 pm IST - CHANDIGARH

Amid the delay of several months in overhauling the 157MW hydro generation unit at the Bhakra Right Bank Power House, reportedly leading to a loss of almost ₹100 crore, the Bhakra Beas Employees Union (BBEU) has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the matter.

The BBEU has urged the Prime Minister to initiate an investigation by a central agency into allegations of irregularities, delay and the loss incurred due to non-functioning of 157 MW Unit-7 of the Bhakra Right Bank Power House of the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) at Nangal in Punjab.

In a letter to the Prime Minister on Monday, union president Ashok Kumar, flagging the huge loss as the unit has been non-operational for several months, said, “There’s is an immediate need for probe into the matter as the Unit is still not operational and all this is due to incompetence of the private firm, which is handling the maintenance work.”

Power utility hit

Earlier, the BBMB’s financial adviser-cum-chief accounts officer Rajinder Kumar, in a letter to the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), had pointed out the issue of delay in capital-maintenance and generation loss of more than ₹100 crore surrounding the same unit.

“I want to bring to your kind notice a very serious issue of mismanagement of capital maintenance of the machine of Unit No 7 of Bhakra Right Bank Power House and associated losses and costs whose burden ultimately falls on PPCL and other power utilities,” Mr. Kumar wrote, in the letter dated August 6.

Farmers hit

He added “..the critical point is that even after more than five months delay, the machine of unit 7 has not been handed back to BBMB by the firm. Consequently, there has been a generation loss ₹100 crore and it is accumulating at a rate of ₹66 lakh per day. The most crucial part is that this generation loss happened during the sowing season (paddy), when the power demand is at its peak. All this loss has to be borne by the PSPCL and other power utilities and the farmers of partner States...”

The work of capital-maintenance for the machine was awarded to a private firm in October 2020, and as per the contract, the work was to be completed by early March 2021, pointed out the letter.

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