Punjab Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday sought action against private thermal power plants within the state for “punishing consumers” by not maintaining adequate coal stock for electricity generation.
His remarks came daily after state-owned utility Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) was forced to chop down power generation and impose load shedding within the wake of a severe coal shortage.

“Punjab must prevent & prepare, instead of repent & repair…Private Thermal Plants floating guidelines, punishing Domestic Consumers by not keeping Coal Stock for 30 Days should be penalised. it’s time to aggressively work on Solar PPAs, & roof-top solar connected to the Grid!” tweeted Mr Sidhu.

According to the Central Electricity Authority guidelines, power plants located at a distance of over 1,000 km from a mine should have minimum coal stock of up to 30 days but this level of stock isn’t maintained by the ability plants within the state.

Because of inadequate coal supply, power plants were running at a reduced capacity within the state, an officer of the PSPCL had said on Saturday.
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Saturday hit out at the Centre for insufficient coal supply and apprehended impending shutdown of the state’s thermal power plants because of fast depleting coal supplies within the next few days.

He said Punjab wasn’t getting adequate coal supply despite agreements with various subsidiaries of the Coal India Ltd and had asked the central government to instantly make sure the state”s quota of coal to do the facility crisis.

The PSPCL on Saturday had appealed to power consumers to conserve power within the light of the “acute shortage” of coal within the country.