The Power Department paid more than twice the approved rate for materials for various electricity projects in Meghalaya, sure evidence of corruption in the department, the opposition Congress Party claimed today.
Keeping up its assault on the government regarding alleged scams in the Power Department, leader of the opposition, Dr Mukul Sangma, said that instead of the approved rate of Rs 19,429 per kilometre of ACSR Weasel Conductor, the department had approved quotes of Rs 43,879 for the material used in Khasi-Jaiñtia Hills and Rs 51,149 in Garo Hills. The latter figure is more than 160 percent more than the amount prescribed in the schedule of rates.
The state government, he claimed, arranged it so that there were only one or a few qualified bidders for projects.
“You can easily understand how the modus operandi has been scripted. If they was competition, if the tendering bidding documents were not tampered with, then many would have qualified and there would have been competition, leading to a lowering of the price and thereby resulting in a saving of hundreds of crores,” Dr Sangma said at today’s press conference.
He also said that he will continue to speak out on issues relating to Saubhagya (the national electrification scheme) and the Ganol hydropower project.
The procurement of galvanised steel tubular poles makes up a substantial amount of the cost of materials for one particular component of work. Materials, in total, make up around 70 percent of the total project cost under Saubhagya, the Congress leader said.
According to figures presented by him, for a 9.5 metre pole the scheduled rate is Rs 16,900 but Meghalaya was willing to pay Rs 28,830 (71 percent more) to the bidder selected for the Garo Hills project, Onycon. Satnam, the successful bidder for the Khasi-Jaiñtia Hills project, had charged Rs 24,176 (43 percent more).
For the 8 metre pole the approved rate is Rs 12,795 but the government was willing to pay Rs 19,182 (50 percent more) for the Garo Hills project and Rs 20,808 (63 percent more) for the Khasi-Jaiñtia Hills project.
For the weasel conductor, the accepted quote was for Rs 43,879 per kilometre in the eastern range and Rs 51,149 in the western range; the latter figure is 163 percent more than the scheduled rate of Rs 19,429 per kilometre.