The rift between Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu seems to have widened as disgruntled leader Sidhu put out a series of tweets attacking Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh over the looming power crisis in the state.
In a series of tweets, disgruntled Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu “offered” advice to the Amarinder Singh government to deal with the power crisis in the state. The Congress-led government in Punjab is facing massive criticism for failing to prevent frequent power cuts in the state.
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sindhu posted a tweet saying there was no need for power cuts in Punjab or for the Chief Minister to regulate office timings if the government acted in the right direction. It may be noted that the Punjab CM has ordered that govt offices will run from 8 am to 2 pm to save electricity consumption. The state govt has also ordered to shut down the industries in several parts of Punjab, so that the farmers can power to save their irrigation dependent crops.
Truth of Power Costs, Cuts, Power Purchase Agreements & How to give Free & 24 hour Power to the People of Punjab:- 1. There is No need for Power-Cuts in Punjab or for the Chief Minister to regulate office timings or AC use of the Common People … If we Act in the right direction— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) July 2, 2021
The cricketer-turned-politician continued attacking Amarinder Singh, who is also in charge of the power ministry in the state, saying Punjab was paying more to buy power at an average cost of Rs.4.54 per unit when the national average cost is Rs.3.85 per unit. The rebel Congress leader said Punjab’s over-dependence on three private thermal plants at Rs.5-8 per unit made Punjab pay more than other states.
“Power purchase agreements (PPAs) – Badal Govt signed PPAs with 3 private thermal power plants in Punjab. Till 2020, Punjab has already paid 5400 crore due to faulty clauses in these agreements and is expected to pay 65,000 Crore of Punjab People’s Money just as fixed charges,” Sidhu tweeted.
3. Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) – Badal Govt signed PPAs with 3 Private Thermal Power Plants in Punjab. Till 2020, Punjab has already paid 5400 Crore due to faulty clauses in these Agreements and is expected to pay 65,000 Crore of Punjab People’s Money just as fixed charges— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) July 2, 2021
Suggesting a new power purchase policy, Sidhu claimed that the Punjab government must bring a law capping power purchase costs to those on the National Power Exchange at any time, with a retrospective effect. He said that Punjab could purchase power from National Grid at much cheaper rates, however, the PPAs signed by the previous government was acting against Punjab’s Public Interest.
“Punjab may not be able to re-negotiate these PPAs due to them having legal protection from Hon’ble Courts, But there is a way forward,” Sidhu tweeted.
5. Punjab Vidhan Sabha can bring in New Legislation with retrospective effect to Cap power purchase costs to prices available on the National Power Exchange at any given time … Thus, By amending the Law, these Agreements will become Null & Void, saving People of Punjab’s Money— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) July 2, 2021
Further, in his tweet, Sidhu claimed that Punjab’s revenue per unit of consumption is one of the lowest in India due to gross mismanagement of the complete power purchase and supply system.
Lashing out at the Capt Amarinder Singh government for 8-hour power cuts in Punjab, rebel MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu explained the trouble in Punjab’s power model in a string of tweets and said that Solar and Biomass energy gas remains untapped in Punjab.
7. Renewable Energy is becoming cheaper along with being environmental-friendly, But Punjab’s potential from Solar & BioMass Energy remains unutilised even though Central financial schemes can be availed for these projects. PEDA spends its time just on energy efficiency awareness— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) July 2, 2021
Navjot Singh Sidhu tweeted, saying Punjab was already giving Rs.9,000 crore as a power subsidy. However, Delhi gives only Rs.1,699 crore as a power subsidy. “If Punjab copies Delhi Model, we will get merely 1600-2000 Crore as Subsidy. To better serve the People of Punjab – Punjab needs an Orignal Punjab Model, Not a copied Model,” Sidhu said, taking a dig at Aam Aadmi Party’s Delhi model.
9. Punjab Model for Power – Money spent on giving unreasonable & exuberant profits to Private Thermal Plants should be utilised for welfare of People i.e Giving Power Subsidy for Free Power for Domestic use (Upto 300 Units), 24 hours supply & to invest in Education & Healthcare !— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) July 2, 2021
Punjab has been witnessing severe power outages after Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) failed to meet rising demand in the state. The PSPCL is giving just up to six to eight hours in rural areas and for up to three hours in all major cities, as it is unable to meet the rising demand for electricity amidst a paddy sowing season and soaring temperatures due to reduced generation.
Due to excess demand, the Punjab government has reduced the timings of government offices and ordered a cut down on power supply to high energy-consuming industries as the electricity demand. Meanwhile, Akali Dal has hit the streets to protest against the power cuts claiming that the Punjab government was indifferent to the plight of the farmers.