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Home News Power Sector News PSEBEA to hold protest march on September 10 for keeping PSEB as single company

PSEBEA to hold protest march on September 10 for keeping PSEB as single company

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PSEBEAPSEB Engineers Association(PSEBEA) have decided to hold a Protest March  at Patiala today against the Punjab Governments move to unbundle PSEB into different companies. Bedi President of Association said that PSEB engineers are neither against fulfilling the requirements of Electricity Act 2003 nor against introduction of real reforms in the sector but are determined to oppose any move to unbundle the functions of Generation, transmission and distribution in the name of reforms since it is not mandated under the law. H S Bedi said that executive committee in its emergency meeting decided to launch protest action by holding a protest march on September 10 at Patiala against move of the State government to unbundle PSEB into generation, transmission and distribution companies. It was further decided that in case any unilateral action is taken by the state government to unbundle PSEB, engineers would be forced to resort to direct action including total strike.

In the statement published in their web site, PSEBEA stated that, as per Section 131 (2) read with Para 3,4 (v) & 4 (xi) of the ‘Statement of Objects & Reasons’ of the Electricity Act 2003, SEB may continue in the bundled form as ‘One Company’ carrying out the functions of Generation, Transmission & Distribution in which case the company would be the distribution licensee & State Transmission Utility which would also be owning generation assets. However to carry out ‘Trading’ functions, a second company may be created.

Recently, Kerala state took decision to keep their electricity industry(KSEB) as a single entity under public sector. But, KSEB Engineers Association (KSEBEA), Counterparts of PSEBEA in Kerala, are on a politically motivated campaign along with congress unions against this. In many states, including punjab,  employess associations are demanding the reforms pattern as done in Kerala.

The private companies can generate, transmit and distribute the power in its area of operation then why a PSEB should not be permitted the benefit of integrated operations. Padamjit Singh Patron of Association said that the main reason for the failure of power sector reforms process in the country is that it has been conceived, drafted and managed primarily by consultants/bureaucrats and power engineers were kept out of the process.

Any transition from one structure to other has to be well conceived, planned and well debated by involving all the stakeholders particularly those who are supposed to carry forward the change.

Association regretted that despite assurances by the Chief Minister to engineers during its General Body meeting and subsequent meetings that no step in this direction would be taken without consulting engineers the power secretariat in the state government is working over time to force failed model of other states on Punjab. Our stand has been vindicated by the latest judgment of the Appellate Tribunal of Electricity that has held that it is not mandatory to unbundle state electricity boards as per Electricity Act 2003. Bedi further said that the propaganda that state would get huge Central funds if PSEB is unbundled which is totally baseless and misleading.

PSEB is already getting funds under APDRP and RGGVYP schemes as per their requirement and entitlement. Bhupinder Singh General Secretary of Association said that in a scenario of power shortage, the matching of generation with demand could be better achieved only through a vertically integrated structure covering generation, transmission & distribution.

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