Another deal between the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporate Limited (MePDCL) under the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) and a private Delhi-based company, Satnam Global Infraprojects Limited (SGIL) has surfaced, pointing to open loot of crores of rupees from the Saubhagya Scheme.
Interestingly, this is the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship programme to bring electricity to every household in the country. However, the manner in which the scheme was allotted to the company smacks of huge corruption involving those in high places in the State.
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, leaving little doubt about the possibility of kickbacks to the bosses of the State power department and others. The entire contract was for Rs. 255,59,98,239.11 only in Khasi Hills, Jaiñtia Hills and Ri Bhoi districts.
However, this ‘sweet deal’ has caused a flutter and caused huge worry within the MeECL’s rank and file who have suffered a lot from corrupt deals that took place secretly in the past and which have been one of the main causes of MeECL’s bankruptcy now.
Now that it is pretty clear that crony capitalism is feasting on the sick State power corporation in its last stages, its employees seem ready to fight back by exposing these shady deals or be sunk with the floundering power corporation.
Breaking their silence after about a year since the contract was signed, 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.
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 (Table of items in the photo).
This kind of favouritism has enraged the workers who are now privy to the details of the going-ons in their own company.
“This is criminal and we are not going to keep quiet. Our jobs are at stake, our future is at stake along with our children’s if MeECL sinks. We don’t want to be like the State’s cement company – MCCL. Further, our State’s power situation is so bad,” said one of the employees.
It may be mentioned here that Satnam Global Infraprojects Limited (SGIL) was awarded the contract in February 2020. The contract worth Rs 255.59 crores (approximately) was for “ex-works supply which includes assembly, manufacturing, type testing, loading, transportation, unloading, insurance, delivery at site, handling, storage etc and erection works which include installation, testing, commissioning, site survey, planning, design, engineering, loading, transportation, unloading, insurance, delivery at site, handing storage and documentation of all items/materials required for the implementation of Saubhagya Scheme (Package A) in Meghalaya”.