Chandigarh, June 10 –  Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday asked the Additional Chief Secretary Power Anurag Aggarwal to examine the model of the School Education department for rationalization of the excessive staff posted in certain parts of the state.

Reviewing the functioning of the Power department, the Chief Minister directed Aggarwal to implement a viable rationalization policy to judiciously deploy its staff as per the requirement on the pattern of separate cadre created for teachers working in the border areas. Likewise, the Chief Minister also asked him to work out modalities for making zone-wise fresh recruitment for proper utilization of manpower in PSPCL.

Showing concern over the huge pendency of electricity bills worth Rs.2142 crore outstanding towards various departments, Captain Amarinder Singh directed the Principal Secretary of Finance to enhance the budgetary allocation of the concerned departments so as to enable them to make prompt payment in this regard.

The Chief Minister also asked the CMD PSPCL A. Venu Prasad to ensure eight hours interrupted power supply to the farmers during the ensuing paddy sowing season. At the same time, he said the domestic power supply should also not be affected in view of summer season.

On the installation of new power substations in the state, the Chief Minister directed the CMD PSPCL to prioritize 66KV substations especially in hospitals like AIIMS, Bathinda and Cancer Hospital, Sangrur besides other critical sectors.

Making a brief presentation, ACS Power Anurag Aggarwal apprised the Chief Minister regarding the incomplete/pending projects, interdepartmental issues, fiscal requirements, and important initiatives taken by the department.

With regard to the ongoing projects, Aggarwal updated the Chief Minister about status of Shahpur Kandi Dam project and the DDUGJY Scheme. The Chief Minister was further apprised that 7 new 66 KV Sub-Stations with total cost of Rs.26 Crore are being commissioned and the work will be completed by December 31, 2021. Further, works of 10 new 66 KV Lines with total cost of Rs.38 Crore are in progress and would be likely to be completed by November 30, 2021. The Walled City Project with a total cost of Rs.40 Crore has been approved for power-related improvement works in the walled city of Patiala and the work is in progress and likely to be completed by December 31, 2021.

Meanwhile, A. Venu Prasad also informed the Chief Minister about the preparedness of PSPCL to supply power in the ongoing paddy season. He also informed that the Government of India has recently given concurrence to the PSPCL to go ahead with cancellation of high-cost Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with NTPC and NHPC. He also briefed about the important initiatives such as construction of new 66KV Sub-Stations, promotion of digital payments, the introduction of smart meters to reduce losses, etc.

The meeting was also informed that under the New and Renewable Energy Sector 169.55 MW capacity small hydropower projects have been commissioned in the State, 20 MW capacity canal top solar PV projects are in operation, 73.9 MW capacity rooftop solar power plants have been installed on Govt. and private buildings including Govt. schools in the State so far and another 15.37 MW capacity projects shall be completed by March 2022. 89423 Solar Street lights have been installed in the villages in the State and another 19000 solar street lights shall be installed by March 2022.

Under the program solarisation of agriculture pumps, 3000 solar pumps have been installed and another 6500 solar pumps shall be installed by March 2022. Total 220 MW capacity solar power plants of 1&2 MW capacity shall be allocated to farmers for supply of agriculture power to 66 KV sub-station in the State. In addition to the above 25000, grid-connected pumps shall be solarised through feeder level solarisation program, added ACS Power.

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