Coal excuse for a cool junket

Officers touring S-E at Govt cost to help a private power producer

Among the utilities are Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL), Power Corporation Karnataka Limited (PCKL) and three electricity supply companies (Escoms).

In a move that has raised eyebrows, the top brass of power sector including Latha Krishna Rao, MD, KPTCL; M Naveen Kumar, MD, PCKL; Tushar Girinath, MD, Bescom; M Govindappa MD, CESC; S Sumanth, MD, Mescom; N V Krishnan, Consultant, PCKL; Manjunath, Executive Engineer, PCKL and Latha Patil, Assistant Executive Engineer, PCKL are on their way to Indonesia to ‘renegotiate’ the coal contract between UPCL and the coal firms in Indonesia.

The losing Escoms will pay for trip. Sources said that the expenditure of each official is likely to run upto at least Rs four lakh during their  trip. “The travel expenditure itself runs upto Rs 1.7 lakh per person,” sources said.

The MD, KPTCL who is barred from power trading following the open access regime in 2006, is among those set to make the trip, while the two MDs of Hescom and Gescom who deal with power procurement are not.

The government ordered nomination of officials from KPTCL, PCKL and Escoms for the trip. However, another letter dated April 15, 2010 has excluded two persons Munish Moudgil, MD, Gescom and M N Ajay Nagabhushan, MD, Hescom for reasons not known.

Sources in the Power Sector have revealed that the team will be visiting Singapore and Malaysia before completing their tour by April 30.

Ideas, prayers

MD KPTCL and party are scheduled to be put up in many luxury hotels including the ‘Grand Hyatt Bali.’ According to a copy of their itinerary, which is available with Deccan Herald, on day one, they will do the Jakarta tourist circuit including Old Batavia, Fatahillah Museum, Old Harbour Sunda Kelapa, Glodok China Town Safari Park.

On the second day, after a short meeting at around 2 pm, the team will visit Cisarua, Puncak tea plantation and Ancol art market. On the third day, the committee will travel to Bali, to visit Mt Agung, Bali’s most sacred and highest volcano’s slopes. Perhaps, the team will get ideas about tapping volcanic volcano’s energy to resolve Karnataka’s power crisis.

The next day, the committee will visit Kintamani to view Batur and Mt Batur volcano, and a place of worship, Tampak Siring, to pray for the resolution of Karnataka’s energy crisis, before returning to Jakarta. The Committee has restricted itself to ‘official duty’ and visit to Ancol Market again on the fifth day before moving out of Jakarta on Day 6.

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