All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) on Sunday warned that thermal power plants generating 2,500 megawatt (mw) in Uttar Pradesh would be closed down if the energy sector proposals of the Union Budget 2020-21 were implemented.
AIPEF chairman Shailendra Dubey has urged chief minister Yogi Adityanath to urgently intervene in the matter and save UP from an “unprecedented” power crisis.
He said that the Union Budget had proposed to shut down thermal power units generating flue gas beyond the environmental norms, and to utilise their land for other purposes. Flue gas is the gas exiting via a flue, a pipe to remove exhaust gases from a fireplace, furnace or steam generator. In general terms, flue gas refers to the exhaust gas produced at power plants.
Dubey claimed that going by budgetary proposals, three 210 mw units each of Anpara A thermal plant; two 500 mw units each of Anpara B; five 200 mw units each of Obra; two 110 mw units each of Parichha; and two 110 mw units each of Harduaganj thermal power plants totalling nearly 2,500 mw would have to be shut completely.
“In fact, all the state run thermal power units in UP with installed capacity of roughly 4,000 mw would be closed if actions are taken conforming to the proposals of the Union Budget,” he told Business Standard.
He recalled that the last year's Budget had mentioned a proposal to equip such thermal power plants with retrofitted technologies like fuel gas desulfurisation system (FGDS) and selective catalytic reducer (SCR) to curb environmental pollution. “The sudden decision to shut these stations is unfortunate,” he said.
He warned that Budget proposals would create a severe energy crisis in UP following the prospective closure of all the state run power stations.
He also criticised Centre's proposal to utilise the land of such thermal power stations by changing land use, saying that it was against the statute as the land was, in the past, acquired from the farmers for setting up power plants.
Recently, the AIPEF urged the Narendra Modi government to take them into confidence on any prospective legislation aimed at ‘privatisation’ of electricity supply during the Union Budget session of Parliament.
AIPEF, which represents nearly 1.5 million public sector powermen, had written to union power minister R K Singh expressing apprehension, on the basis of newspaper reports, that the Centre was planning changes in the Electricity Act 2003 to introduce multiple supply licensees or franchisees by segregating carriage and content in the present distribution system.
In the letter, the Federation urged the union minister to give time for holding broad discussions before declaring any further amendments or changes in the Electricity Act 2003 to this effect.