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Thursday, 11 February 2021

Don’t give Power Dept in pvt hands, say two ex-MPs

Dushyant Singh Pundir

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10

Two former MPs — Harmohan Dhawan and Pawan Kumar Bansal — have opposed the privatisation of the profit-making UT Electricity Department.

During a meeting of the Administrator's Advisory Council here today, Dhawan said for the past five years, the department had been making profits. He said it earned the record revenue of Rs258 crore last year.

The Bhakra-Beas Management Board (BBMB) had been supplying 3.5 per cent of its power generated to the UT at just 17 paise per unit, he said. After being privatised, the UT was unlikely to get the supply at this rate. He said Rs157 crore was deposited as security with the department and the Administration must explain how the amount would be utilised. Before privatisation, the Administration should also take suggestions from 2.47 lakh consumers.

Meanwhile, AICC Treasurer Pawan Kumar Bansal said there was no need to privatise the well-managed Electricity Department. He said the privatisation would burden the consumers.

On a petition filed by the UT Powermen Union, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had on December 1, 2020, stayed the tendering process regarding the privatisation of the department.

However, On January 12, the Supreme Court had stayed the order of the High Court and on January 14, the UT Administration resumed the sale of tender for the privatisation process.

Six companies — Sterlite Power, ReNew Wing Energy, NESCL (NTPC), Adani Transmission Ltd, Tata Power and Torrent Power — have submitted their bids for privatisation of the department.

However, the Supreme Court had yesterday referred the case back to the High Court and asked it to decide in three months.

An official of the department said the bids could be opened this month.

Opening bids

An official of the Electricity Department said the bids could be opened this month and a meeting would be called with representatives of the bidders before opening the tenders.

from The Tribune

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