Despite the peak of paddy season and summer peak in Punjab, the people are suffering due to prolonged and unannounced power cuts in agriculture and the domestic sector, but Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh while abandoning the people of Punjab; was enjoying at his royal farmhouse. To make the wail of the people and farmers, reach the ears of the deaf and ignorant Captain Amarinder Singh; the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) under the leadership of state president and MP Bhagwant Mann will gherao Captain’s Siswan farmhouse on July 3. The announcement was made by AAP MLA and Youth Wing state president Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer while addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here on Thursday.Meet Hayer said that the Aam Aadmi Party demands uninterrupted and affordable power supply to the people and the farmers along with all sections of Punjab. Party’s spokesperson Neel Garg was also present on the occasion. Taking a dig at the Captain government, Hayer said, “There is no such thing as a government in Punjab. Today, all sections including farmers, unemployed and employees are protesting against the Punjab and Union government. Now they have to hold dharnas to get electricity. Lack of power supply is affecting agriculture and in the scorching heat, it has become difficult for the people to live in their homes without electricity.” He alleged that the main reason for the high cost and shortage of power was the wrong power purchase agreements made by the Badal government with the private thermal plants and the non-cancellation of the agreements by the present Congress government.
The AAP leader further alleged that like the Badals, the Captain government was also taking bribes from the power companies. Disclosing the wrong power deals made by the Badals, Hayer said that the terms of the agreements stipulated that if any private thermal plant was shut down for 91 days out of 365 days of the year; then the government could not take any action against the thermal managers. “That is why now when the demand for electricity is highest, private thermal plants are voluntarily supplying power,” he added. Hayer said that if the thermal companies kept the thermal plants closed for 73 consecutive days in a year, then the government would have to pay a fixed charge to the thermal managers.Hayer said that so far, the government had paid a fixed charge of Rs 20,000 crore to private thermal plants, out of which Rs 5,900 crore had been paid without getting any supply. He said that now that the farmers were in need of electricity the most during the paddy season, both the units of Talwandi Sabo Private Thermal Plant were shut down; the first unit of this plant of 660 MW was shut down on March 8, while the second unit was shut down on June 25. “Presently Punjab is 97% dependent on private thermal plants for power generation and only 3% of power is being generated from government plants. But even for this 3 per cent power, the government thermal plants are proving to be far more efficient than private thermal plants,” he asserted.Accusing Captain Amarinder Singh of colluding with the Badals and private companies, Meet Hayer said that despite his promises, Captain Amarinder Singh had not yet taken any step towards canceling the wrong power purchase agreements reached during the Badal government. Replying to a question, Meet Hayer clarified that the announcement of 300 units of free electricity per month by AAP’s National Convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal means 600 units in Punjab, as the state gets its electricity bill every two months. He also claimed that the cancellation or renewal of power purchase agreements with the formation of the AAP government would make the entire power supply cheaper, which would benefit traders, businessmen and industrialists.