aipef: Power engineers’ body seeks capping of IPPs’ profiteering | India News – Times of India

LUCKNOW: Terming it “black marketing” of power by energy exchange in the wake of nation-wide coal crisis, the All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) on Tuesday called for an urgent meeting of the Forum of Regulators. In a letter sent to Union power minister RK Singh, AIPEF also demanded constitution of an expert committee to fix responsibility for the coal crisis besides evolving ways to avoid such crisis in future.
The federation categorically sought capping of profiteering by the Independent Power Producers (IPP) — comprising private power generation companies — under section 62(1) of the Electricity Act 2003. “Top most priority is to stop black marketing in energy exchanges mostly by private operators during the prevailing crisis,” AIPEF chairman, Shailendra Dubey said. The federation stance comes at a time when the financially ailing UP power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) buys electricity at the rate of up to Rs 22 per unit to meet the high power demand in the midst of festivities.
The federation said that since coal shortage is recognized as a major factor causing a hike in power rates, the power ministry must stress for ending future coal shortages. The top power engineers’ organisation referred to former coal secretary Anil Swarup’s (2016) statement, saying that the ministry had finalized an action plan over the next five years for meeting coal shortages. “However, this action plan was never implemented. The ministry of power needs to take up the issue of coal shortages with ministries concerned so that the crisis does not repeat,” Dubey said.
AIPEF further demanded that an expert committee with a Central Electricity Authority (CEA) be constituted immediately to analyse the prevailing crisis and accordingly stern action be taken against those responsible for the crisis. The federation maintained that the spike in energy rates in the aftermath of coal shortage could potentially lead to putting the burden on consumers of various distribution companies.
“Discoms are constrained to purchase power at high cost for limiting the power cuts. This leads to a deterioration of discom finances which are already stressed,” the AIPEF said, adding that the cap will put a stop on the practice of “exploiting” shortage by raising the rates. The federation asserted that raising the rate to the range of Rs 20 per unit in energy exchange must not be allowed.
AIPEF has also expressed its concern over the closure of ultra-mega power plants of Tata and Adani at Mundra which are run by imported coal and have nothing to do with the present coal crisis in country and also heavy backing down of IPPs in Rosa, Lalitpur and Bara adding to the crisis.

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