The opposition Congress is keeping a “close watch” into the alleged irregularities in implementation of the Saubhagya scheme but hesitant to take the lead in filing a Public Interest Litigation to demand for a CBI probe.
The Congress was the first to rip into anomalies of the Power Department in implementation of the Saubhagya scheme in November last year. The party then believed it was fair to demand for a CBI probe into the “corrupt practices” that even its youth wing too staged a protest against the government and the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) in Tura against the alleged manipulation of the terms and conditions in the bidding documents of Saubhagya scheme.
However, today East Shillong legislator, Ampareen Lyngdoh said that past precedence shows that it was never the opposition but a third party who initiated such steps.
Lyngdoh opined that an independent body or any individual should take the initiative (to file a PIL) in the Meghalaya High Court.
According to Lyngdoh, the Congress has not yet discussed the matter even as she said, “As an opposition, we are keeping a close watch.”
The Congress legislator from East Shillong said that only a directive from the Court will make the government comply for a CBI probe.
It may be mentioned, that a deal between the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporate Limited (MePDCL) under the MeECL and a private Delhi-based company, Satnam Global Infraprojects Limited (SGIL) surfaced, pointing to open loot of crores of rupees from the Saubhagya Scheme.
The deal has caused a flutter and caused huge worry within the MeECL’s rank and file who felt that this would also be another the main causes of MeECL’s bankruptcy now.
MeECL employees told Highland Post that a comparative study had been done of the rates given to Satnam Global Infraprojects Limited and the existing rates of the State power company after they came to know that the private company was being illegally favoured in this contract.
Documents reveal that the rates approved for Satnam Global Infraprojects Limited to supply materials under the Saubhagya Scheme (Package A) in Meghalaya in February 2020 was more than 100 per cent over and above the MeECL approved rates or the market rates.
Out of the 90 odd materials supplied, the prices of eight major items (ex-works) were compared and studied.
The contract required Satnam Global Infraprojects Limited to supply 1, 13,817 bags of cement. The prevailing price of cement in the market is Rs 360 per bag. Interestingly, the approved rate for Satnam Global Infraprojects Limited was Rs 857.27. With this price the amount as per MeECL rates the total cost comes to Rs 4,09,74,120 while the cost at the rates approved for Satnam Global Infraprojects Limited totals to Rs.9,757,18,99.59. The difference is Rs. 5, 65, 97,779.59.
The total amount for these eight items studied according to the MeECL approved rates came to Rs 96,33,39,733.42 while as per the rates allowed to Satnam Global Infraprojects Limited, the amount came to Rs 149,35,63,469.90 (all without calculating taxes). The difference between the two is a whopping Rs 53, 52, 23,736.49.