Power engineers blame Centre for coal-power crisis

The federal executive meeting of the All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) held here on Saturday adopted 10 resolutions with major demands being withdrawal of Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 and integration of all unbundled power utilities.

The meeting was chaired by Shailendra Dubey, chairman of AIPEF, and secretary general P. Rathnakar Rao and attended by presidents and general secretaries of all constituent power engineers associations of AIPEF. The meeting also discussed at length the ongoing power crisis in the country arising out of coal shortage and privatisation policies being pursued by the Centre and some State Governments in the power sector.

On the ongoing power crisis, the engineers body sought an independent inquiry into the coal shortage and demanded withdrawal of directions/conditions issued by the Centre to State Governments (Gencos) on import of coal for blending it with indigenous coal. They also requested the State Government to withdraw privatisation of their power utilities and demanded cancellation of privatisation proposals of Union Territory electricity departments without finalising the standard bidding documents.

Further, the AIPEF executive meeting sought review of power purchase agreements (PPAs), withdrawal of conditions on States on installation of high-cost smart (pre-paid) energy meters, revival of old pension scheme to all power employees and engineers and stopping privatisation of Puducherry electricity department.

The AIPEF meeting suggested modification of the renewable power purchase obligation (RPPO) stating that it should be based on ensuring grid stability, ecological aspects of solar energy and manufacturing of indigenous solar equipment and development of other renewable energy sources.

The power engineers federation was of the view that the proposal to give choice of supply to consumers by amending the Electricity Act was against the interests of lower social strata and sections like farmers and community-based professions and it needs extensive investment in metering, computerised energy accounting and IT-based loss evaluation, which they said won’t exist in the country now. Citing an example of the UK, they said huge investment was made in the transmission and distribution network before giving choice of supply to consumers.

On the coal crisis, the meeting attributed the problem to the mismanagement of the situation by Coal India-Government of India and alleged that the policies including import of coal formulated were aimed at directly benefiting private companies and quoting a Bloomberg report they said said the increase in coal prices helped Adani Enterprises clock 30% jump in profit for the quarter ending March 2022, highest in six quarters, as an example.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2022 2:20:42 am |