Amid complaints of power cuts in Punjab, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President and former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and SAD MP from Bathinda and former Union Minister for Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal have lashed out at the state government.
While Badal claimed that Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi was either ignorant or has zero ground connect, Kaur accused the Congress party of taking the state back into dark times.
“Either CM Charanjit Singh Channi has zero ground connect, or he’s being ignorant, because the Punjabis are facing 10-12 hours of power cuts and every section is suffering due to the current power crisis. Instead of making lofty claims, CM must focus on resolving the issues of Punjab,” Sukhbir Singh Badal tweeted in response to Channi’s statement that he won’t let power blackout take place in Punjab.
“Am shocked! With 6th power unit forced to close ops in few days! With its incompetence, negligence, total lack of will and filthy power games, Congress has literally pulled the state into dark times. In this day and age, Punjab doesn’t deserve 4-hour power cuts,” Harsimrat Kaur tweeted and shared a news report.
This is not the first attack launched by the Badals on the state government on the issue of power crisis. Sukhbir Singh Badal had earlier alleged that the crisis was “man-made” and a result of the Channi-led government’s “utter neglect and absence of advance planning and preparedness”.
“This is a crisis that was waiting to happen and it has nothing to do with the much touted shortage of coal elsewhere. The Ministry of Coal has clarified that there is no shortage of coal supplies in the country. That clearly shows that the Punjab government is the real villain as it was not keeping the required reserves of coal to meet such situations,” Badal was quoted by as saying by news agency PTI.
Meanwhile, the chief minister claimed that he will not let a power blackout occur in Punjab and urged the Centre to ensure adequate coal supply. “Not only Punjab, the entire country is facing the power crisis because of coal shortage,” Channi said.
COAL SHORTAGE IN PUNJAB
Severe coal shortage has prompted the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to impose load shedding. PSPCL has procured 1,500 MW of electricity at a rate of more than Rs 14 per unit from power exchange.
PSPCL Chairman and MD A Venu Prasad said coal stock position across the state continues to remain critical as only 12 rakes of coal were received versus the daily requirement of 22 rakes.
He further said that all private coal plants in the state have less than two days of coal stock available, whereas government-backed plants have less than four days of coal supply. Plants are still operating at 50 per cent capacity, he added.
According to PTI, power availability in the state may improve within the next one or two days as additional 400 MW coal from state sector and other outside sources is expected.
Edited by Mehak Agarwal; with PTI inputs
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