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Thermal plant staffers to step up stir 

Bathinda: Hundreds of employees of state-run thermal plants participated in a state-level protest today against the government’s decision to shut the Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant and two units of the thermal plant in Ropar.Urging the government to take back its decision, members of the Punjab State Electricity Board Employees Joint Forum threatened to gherao the residence of Irrigation and Power Minister Rana Gurjit Singh on January 18.“In case the government didn’t relent, we will hold a rally in Patiala on February 7 and gherao the residence of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh,” said district president of the GNDTP Employees Union Gursewak Singh.Staging a protest at Bhai Ghanaiya Chowk here today, the regular employees raised slogans against the state government’s “ulterior motive of finishing the state-run thermal plants in favour of private plants”.State general secretary of the union Karamchand Bhardwaj said, “The political families of Punjab are hand in glove with big corporate houses of the country. They first fooled the voters and are now planning to fleece them by making statements supported by erroneous calculations.”Bhardwaj also accused the government of not reviewing the power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed with the private players. “Despite its power surplus status, the state has to still buy power since it is bound by these PPAs. The easy way out of the situation is to shut operations at the state-run thermal plants,” Bhardwaj said.The employeess, after waiting for two hours for a representative of the district administration to come and take their memorandum, marched towards the district administrative complex to submit the memorandum.The protesters blocked the road at Hanuman Chowk for about an hour. They lifted the blockade after the tehsildar arrived and received their memorandum.

Employees submit memorandum to Speaker

 Ropar: Hundreds of Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant employees tried to march towards the residence of Speaker Rana KP Singh around 11 am on Wednesday. When the police barricaded the area, they sat on dharna in the parking of the Giani Zail Singh Nagar market. Ropar Thermal Sangharsh Committee member Bhag Chand Sharma said the protests would continue till the government reversed its decision of shutting down thermal plant units. The protesters lifted the dharna at 4 pm after presenting a memorandum of demands to Rana KP Singh. 

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