AIPEF demands independent enquiry into coal crisis

  • | Saturday | 25th November, 2023

PATIALA: The All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has called for an independent investigation into the import of coal and whether the coal crisis was intentionally orchestrated to justify the import, questioning the primary beneficiaries of coal imports.In a letter addressed to power minister R K Singh on Friday, Shailendra Dubey, chairman of AIPEF, raised concerns regarding the import of coal for thermal power stations.The federation urged an impartial inquiry led by a retired Supreme Court judge to probe irregularities in coal import, particularly by the Adani Group.The letter emphasized the need for immediate prosecution and conviction in cases of irregularities, with a focus on initiating criminal proceedings where investigations reveal sufficient evidence. It also advocated for a ban on firing imported coal without scientifically blending it with Indian coals to prevent damage to boilers. Additionally, the AIPEF called for the central government to compensate state governments due to the directive making the import of coal mandatory at high prices.Padamjit Singh, chief patron of AIPEF, attributed the responsibility for the current coal crisis to the Government of India, which controls the management of Coal India, Indian Railways, and the ports. He emphasized that the government holds sole responsibility for coal imports.V K Gupta, spokesperson for AIPEF, highlighted that the coal import was enforced on consumers even before a coal shortage occurred. The union government, invoking its extraordinary powers under the Electricity Act, mandated the blending and firing of imported coal into boilers, in violation of the constitutional provision that power is a concurrent subject. Gupta pointed out that there was no provision for compensating either state governments or state power utilities in this process.

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