Monthly Archives: AUGUST 2017
On The Guidlines Of The Central Electricity Agency
Punjab Cabinet sets up sub-committee to decide on closure of state-owned thermal plants
The Punjab cabinet on Thursday constituted a sub-committee to consider and work out the modalities for the closure of the state-owned thermal plants in view of the Central Electricity Agency (CEA) guidelines to retire non-viable Thermal Power Plants (TPPS) that have exceeded 25-year life span.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Council of Ministers, chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, here on Thursday afternoon.
The move is in line with the guidelines issued by Central Electricity Authority (CEA) to retire non-viable Thermal Power Plants that have exceeded 25-year life span, an official spokesperson said after the meeting.
The cabinet sub-committee will be headed by Health Minister Brahm Mohindra and will have Power Minister Rana Gurjit, Finance Minister Manpreet Badal and Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi as members. The panel has been given two weeks’ time to submit its report on the move to permanently shut down the state-owned thermal power plants at Bathinda and Ropar. It has also been mandated to make recommendations with respect to the fate of the employees of these plants.
According to the spokesperson, the 460 MW Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant (GNDTP) at Bathinda and Units 1 & 2 of 1260 MW Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant (GGSSTP) at Ropar had become non-viable due to the use of obsolete technology coupled with high cost of power generation. In comparison, the new Independent Power Producer (IPP) projects, including 1400 MW Nabha Power Limited (NPL) at Rajpura, 1980 MW Talwandi Sabo Power Limited at Mansa and 540 MW GVK Thermal Power Plant at Goindwal Sahib, were much more economical and efficient, the meeting was informed.
Statistics showed that generation cost per unit in the state-owned TPPs had been increasing year on year, said the spokesperson, pointing out that the Central Electricity Authority had been pressing the states for the past several years to replace the old & inefficient sub-critical units with super critical units/retirement/renovation.
All the units at Bathinda and Ropar had outlived their lives and had been operating to a mere 10-15% of their total capacity, said the spokesperson, adding that closure of the plants would not lead to any shortfall in power generation in the state. With an annual power generation capacity of 13900 Mega Watt units, Punjab is a power surplus state and supplies would not be hit because of the closure, which in any case is slated for winter, when the demand for power is low, the spokesperson added. With a peak demand of just about 11000 MW units, the state had a 2000 MW surplus power generation this year.
In fact, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited had, earlier this month, shut down 13 state-owned thermal units to prevent overloading of the grid following a spike in hydel power generation and supply of power by other states under bilateral agreements signed before the start of the paddy season.
UP TO CENTRE TO DECIDE ON PROBE
Amarinder rules out compensation for law breakers
While leaving it to the Centre to decide on ordering a probe into Friday’s Dera violence, Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday said no compensation would be given by his government to law breakers from his state who were killed in the Panchkula carnage in the wake of the court verdict against Ram Rahim.
The Chief Minister said this while interacting with media-persons during his tour of nearly a dozen areas in some of the sensitive districts in Malwa region of Punjab, which witnessed sporadic incidents of violence in the wake of the court verdict against the Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim on Friday.
Responding to a media query during the course of his visit, Amarinder said it was for the Centre to take any decision on ordering a probe into the collapse of law and order that led to the anarchy and violence in Panchkula and other parts of Haryana, Punjab and Delhi on Friday. He was asked if the central government should order an inquiry into the breakdown of law and order.
Making it clear that it was a matter to be decided by the central government, he reiterated that the main cause of the trouble was allowing such a large crowd to gather in Panchkula ahead of the court verdict. This had led to the carnage in which, of the 24 bodies identified so far, 11 victims each were from Haryana and Punjab and one each from Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.
Captain, in reply to a question, welcomed the Prime Minister’s strong condemnation of the Dera violence and expressed the hope that the central government would tackle the criminals who indulged in violence with an iron hand. Nobody can or should be allowed to disturb the law and order of any state or region in the country, he added.
Responding to another question, he said that the Haryana Chief Minister had made no attempt to get in touch with him even though the Punjab intelligence agencies were regularly providing their counterparts in the neighbouring state with all inputs.
While giving a free hand to the police to crack down on potential trouble makers ahead of the sentencing of rape convict Ram Rahim, he made it clear that his government was fully geared up to maintain peace in the state at all costs.
To another question, Amarinder said that while his government was preparing a list of the damage caused to public and private property, there would be no compensation for those who took the law in their hands and indulged in violence. The list of damaged property would be submitted to the Punjab & Haryana High Court for recovery of compensation from the Dera, as per the court’s directions.
He later said 45 preventive arrests have been made so far under sections 107/151 in the seven districts of the sensitive Bathinda zone, which was considered the base of Dera supporters in Punjab.
A total of 23 FIRs have been registered, with 30 arrests, he said, adding that 62 petrol bombs had been seized. The police have also recovered a 12-bore gun with a dozen cartridges and a .22 revolver with 28 cartridges, said the Chief Minister, expressing satisfaction that the situation in the region was under control and there was no sign of panic among the people. Day curfew in the area had been lifted and the district administration would again review the situation at night, said Captain Amarinder.
Besides Mansa, where he started his tour from Kotli Kalan, the Chief Minister toured the areas of Maur, Bhatinda, Balluana (Bathinda Rural), Gidderbaha and Malaout, where he met the people and security forces to thank for ensuring complete law and order amid the mounting tension on Friday. He also inquired about their well-being and asked if they were facing any problems due to the prevailing circumstances. He expressed his gratitude to the Punjab police and paramilitary forces for their commendable job and distributed fruit to the men and women maintaining vigil.
In Bathinda Rural, the Chief Minister visited the Balluana railway station damaged in the violence and spoke to the staff members, who gave him a first-hand account of the developments of Friday. They described to Captain Amarinder how armed men broke into the railway offices and damaged windows, computers etc, before making an abortive attempt to set the station afire.
Captain said there had been no fresh incident of violence in Punjab after Friday’s minor cases of attack on property and vehicles by Dera supporters. Captain Amarinder said eight people from Punjab were killed during the mayhem in Panchkula.
There was no loss of life in these incidents in Punjab, he reiterated, adding that the situation in the state was completely stable. He directed the district administration and police to ensure that there is no disruption of peace in the region and all steps are taken to maintain law and order.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by his Finance Minister Manpreet Badal, PPCC president Sunil Jakhar, Media Advisor Raveen Thukral, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Principal Secretary Tejveer Singh, DGP Suresh Arora, Director General Intelligence Dinkar Gupta, and Political Secretary to CM Captain Sandeep Sandhu.
Ban On Mobile Data Extended
Curfew lifted in Patiala, Educational Institutes to remain closed on Monday
PATIALA: A day after a few incidents of violence, the situation on Saturday is by and large peaceful in Patiala district.
The district magistrate taking in consideration the current situation has lifted the curfew in Patiala, which was imposed yesterday. The tension, however, prevails among the residents.
In a statement issued here Kumar Amit, District Magistrate of Patiala, informed that the curfew enforced in Patiala in wake of violence that broke out over the conviction of Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, has been lifted from 6 p.m. today.
Even though the curfew has been lifted, Section 144 is still imposed in the district.
Additionally, a holiday on Monday, August 28 in all the schools, colleges and other educational institutes of the district has been announced.
The ban on mobile data services has also been extended in the state till Tuesday.
Preventive Curfew Imposed In Sensitive Areas
Army called out in 10 districts of Punjab amidst incidents of violence
Amid sporadic incidents of violence in some areas following the Ram Rahim case verdict, the Punjab government has called out the Army to help and maintain peace and communal harmony in 10 districts of the state over the next 24 hours, with preventive curfew being imposed in some sensitive areas in these districts.
The police have launched a major crackdown on trouble-makers and have arrested several supporters of Dera Sacha Sauda, including a member of its state-level committee.
The decision to call out the Army, which is staging flag march in the sensitive areas of these districts, in the Malwa region, was taken by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who also holds the Home portfolio, as violence in Panchkula spiraled out of control.
Amarinder, who is personally monitoring the situation, said the decision was aimed at preventing any loss of life or damage to public/private property in the districts of Sangrur, Barnala, SAS Nagar (Mohali), Bathinda, Mansa, Ferozepur, Fazilka, Faridkot, Sri Muktsar Sahib and Moga.
Preventive curfew had been imposed in six places, including Patiala, Bathinda, Mansa, Faridkot, Ferozepur and Malout sub-division (Sri Muktsar Sahib district) of the State and night curfew was likely to be imposed in Moga, Baghapurana and Abohar towns.
Police patrolling has been intensified all over the State, especially on highways and major roads. On the directives of the Chief Minister, 11 senior police officers, including ADGP (1), IGP (4), DIG (3) and Commandants (3), have been deputed to supervise the various security measures over the next 24 hours, especially during the night, an official spokesperson disclosed.
Police have also arrested five Dera supporters involved in the attempt to set Balluana Railway station in Bathinda on fire. Two weapons have been recovered from them.
The spokesperson further revealed that Gurdev Singh, a member of the 45-member State-level committee of Dera Sacha Sauda, who was found instigating Dera followers to indulge in arson and violence, has been arrested by Bathinda police. Due to sustained police operations and pressure, many such Dera leaders and followers were expected to surrender before the police over the next 24 hours, said the spokesperson.
The State government is also involved in the major logistical exercise of providing a safe and smooth passage home to more than one lakh Dera followers, hailing from Punjab and Haryana, including women and children, by arranging suitable transport for to their home districts. The Chief Minister has ordered that more than 200 PRTC buses be arranged to ensure the transportation of the Dera supporters in a regulated manner.
Giving details of the developments in Punjab in the wake of the court verdict against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim, the spokesperson said there had been about 40, mostly minor, incidents. In all, there were 28 incidents of arson, besides damage to State/Central government offices/properties in seven districts of the Malwa region. The incidents of damage involved Railway stations (4: two in Bathinda, one each in Ferozepur and Sri Muktsar Sahib districts), Electricity Grid stations (6: one each in Mansa, Sangrur & Bathinda and three in Faridkot), Seva Kendras (9: four in Bathinda, 2 in Mansa, 2 in Barnala and 1 in Faridkot), Telephone exchanges (4: one each in Bathinda, Muktsar, Sangrur & Barnala), Petrol Pumps (4: two in Mansa and one each at Muktsar and Faridkot), Tehsil Office (Sangrur-1), smashing of window panes of Income Tax Office (Mansa district). Two incidents of road blockades were also reported from Dirba and Ghanauri, both in Sangrur district.
In addition, there was a minor incident of an attempt to set furniture on fire in a Government School in village Manakpur, Banur (Patiala district). Dera followers hit a Police vehicle in Dirba (district Sangrur); they were later arrested.
Punjab Cabinet okays cricketer Harmanpreet's appointment as DSP
CHANDIGARH, AUGUST 24: The Punjab cabinet on Thursday approved the appointment of well-known woman cricketer and Arjuna Award winner Harmanpreet Kaur as DSP in the state police department, while giving the go-ahead for government jobs to two children of martyr Naib Subedar Paramjit Singh, who was killed and mutilated while fighting an infiltration bid at the Line of Control (LoC) in May this year.
These important decisions were taken at a meeting of the Council of Ministers, chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, here on Thursday.
The Chief Minister had offered the DSP post to Harmanpreet after her outstanding performance in the recently concluded ICC Women's Cricket World Cup. The cricketer had accepted the offer and subsequently resigned her job from the Indian Railways to fulfil her dream of joining the Punjab Police. Harmanpreet’s appointment is being made against a direct quota post.
Giving details of the cabinet decisions, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said the meeting approved the offer of the job of Naib Tehsildar to Simrandeep Kaur, elder daughter of Naib Subedar Paramjit, and ASI’s post in Punjab Police for son Sahildeep Singh. Both would become entitled to their respective jobs on attaining eligibility in terms of age and educational qualification.
It may be recalled that the Chief Minister had promised these jobs to the two children of Paramjit during his condolence visit to the bereaved family in their village in Tarn Taran on May 7.