All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has demanded an immediate meeting of Forum of Regulators to cap power prices at energy exchanges, alleging black marketing by private operators during the ongoing coal shortage crisis.
The Federation has also demanded that Expert Committee be constituted to fix responsibility for the Coal Crisis and to evolve ways and means to avoid such crises in future, an AIPEF statement said.
In a letter to Union Power Minister RK Singh, AIPEF Chairman Shailendra Dubey has urged that the subject of putting a cap on profiteering by IPPs (independent power producers) may be discussed and finalised in the Forum of Regulators in letter and spirit of section 62 (1) of the Electricity Act 2003 immediately to stop black marketing in energy exchange, mostly by private operators during the crisis.
The AIPEF letter said that since coal shortage is recognised as a major factor causing a hike in power rates, the Power Ministry must stress for ending future coal shortages otherwise the results of 2021 would repeat. In particular, we refer to an interview by the then Coal Secretary GOI (Anil Swarup) in 2016, when he said that an action plan would be finalised over the next 5 years for meeting coal shortages, the letter states.
However, this action plan was not implemented and now the Coal Secretary has retired, and it is up to the Ministry of Power to take up the issue of coal shortages with concerned ministries. AIPEF has also expressed its concern about 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.