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Coal shortage worsens Power Crisis in Punjab; AAP leader HS Phoolka slams Badals

October 9, 2014 | By

Ludhiana, Punjab: Aam Aadmi Party Punjab (AAP Punjab) leader and senior supreme court lawyer HS Phoolka, in a statement issued on Thursday, stated that Punjab chief minister Punjab, who himself is power minister as well, should explain to the people about shortage of coal and power crisis in Punjab.

“The Chief Minister owes an explanation to the people of the state, as why Punjab did not exploit this coal block to the full extent and why the contractor stopped the supply from Punjab’s own coal block”, said the statement.

Sukhbir Badal (L) | HS Phoolka (R)

Dy CM Sukhbir Badal (L) | HS Phoolka (R)

“The shortage of the coal and the power crisis is not due to the Supreme Court orders, but is due to the mismanagement and negligence of the Punjab Government”, claimed Phoolka.

Divulging details, Phoolka said Punjab was allotted a coal block in Pachwara Central, Distt. Pakur, Jharkhand with an estimated coal reserves of 562 million tonnes to Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) in 2001 which spreads over 1278 hectares.

Punjab Government gave it on contract to EMTA (Eastern Minerals and Trading Agency of Kolkata, West Bengal) and incorporated this as a Joint Venture names as Panem Coal Mines Limited in 2001 during the tenure of earlier Badal Government. Panem Coal Mines Limited is expected to supply 7 Million Metric Tonnes coal per annum to Punjab and is expected to supply 6 rakes per day to each of the three thermal power plants of Punjab situated at Ropar, Bathinda and Lehra Mohobbat, he pointed out.

Due to the dispute with the Punjab Government, the contractor stopped the supply from Pachwara Central Coal Block which is allocated to Punjab. This supply was totally stopped in the April, 2014. The supply from the Punjab’s own coal block was not restored for many months as a result of this the Punjab is facing the coal shortage and power crisis today, the statement further claimed.

Under the Supreme Court orders the mining from this coal block is allowed to continue for Six months that is till February, 2015. The non-supply from Punjab’s own coal block is purely due to the negligence and mismanagement of the Punjab Government, he alleged.

It is notable that due to denail of riparian rights Punjab is deprived of major portion of hydro power generated from Punjab’s river waters, as a result the state uses coal to generate power through thermal plants. This has added to the state’s expenditure besides various other burdens and problems.

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