AAP corners Captain Government on expensive power; seeks termination of PPAs in the Budget Session
Chandigarh, February 5
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Punjab, while cornering the Captain Amarinder Singh government over hefty electricity tariff in the state, has sought abrogation of the power purchase agreements (PPAs) in the ensuing budget session of the Assembly, to save the people of the state groaning under ‘power shocks’ from an open ‘loot’ by the power mafia.
In a joint statement issued from party headquarters, Leader of Opposition, Harpal Singh Cheema, and Sunam MLA Aman Arora, party’s Bijli Morcha co-ordinator and MLA Meet Hayer, while referring to a 2-page letter shot off to the government by a senior IAS officer KBS Sidhu, openly demanding nixing of the anti-state PPAs.
The AAP leaders questioned why the Capt government was running away from initiating steps in this regard, saying that the Aam Aadmi Party’s Bijli Andolan had elicited humongous response from the people, prompting senior leaders of the party, including ministers, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, former power minister Rana Gurjit Singh, state Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, along with other legislators and Rajya Sabha members Partap Singh Bajwa to corner their own government to cancel the PPAs in the interest of the state and its people.
Harpal Singh Cheema said that during the long tenure of the SAD-BJP government in the state, Sukhbir Singh Badal had inked the one-sided and anti-state pacts with the private players by forcing closure of the government thermal plants generating sufficient and cheaper electricity, which led the people of the state to face the heat of high power cost, saying KBS Sidhu’s letter had touched upon these vital points in details.
Aman Arora alleged that the Captain Amarinder Singh had, surpassed the Badals in sharing ‘booty’ from the private thermal plants through the powerful power mafia calling the shots in the state. Referring to the letter by KBS Sidhu, Aman Arora said that if Captain Amarinder Singh government, during its last tenure, could cancel the agreements inked with the states of Haryana, Rajasthan and union governments on water sharing, why couldn’t he terminate pacts with private thermal plants?
Aman Arora further alleged that if electricity could be procured from the market and the national grid at the cost Rs 3 per and Rs 3.15 per unit, why should it be purchased from private thermal plants at an exorbitant rate of Rs 8 to 9 per unit?
Meet Hayer on the occasion said that people of the state couldn’t heave a sigh of relief from the high power tariff until or unless the costly power pacts were not canceled. He cautioned that if the Captain government failed to cancel the PPPs, the AAP, if formed the government in the state in 2022, would crack a whip on the private power players and expedite the termination of the PPAs.