Local Goa News

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Another power scam? 20,000 electricity poles bought from private party

HC order dictating such purchases to be made only from Handicrafts Corporation violated; department officials admit that purchases made from private player at a loss to govt and gain for private player

PANJIM: The power department’s tryst with pelf, appears to continue. The Goa Electricity Department (GED) is violating guidelines in purchase of electricity poles from a private dealer instead of a government corporation.

GED had floated a tender for conversion of existing 11kv overhead bare conductor lines in GED network to 11kv aerial bunched cable network at an estimated cost of Rs 139.43 crore. KEI Industries Limited & Genus Power Infrastructure Limited had submitted their bids. The lowest tender was of KEI Industries Limited for Rs 145.51 crore.
The job to be executed under the tender requires 20,000 electric poles and the same was part of the supplies in the tender document.
Sources in the government say as per the orders of the High Court, any requirement of RCC poles by GED has to be purchased through Goa Handicrafts Rural and Small Scale Industries Development Corporation (GHRSSIDC). “Besides that the cost of the RCC poles as quoted by KEI is much higher than that supplied by GHRSSIDC. Hence why should the government make purchases at a loss?” asked officials, refusing to be named.
Considering the market cost of Rs 5000 per 9 metres RCC pole, the total cost of 20,000 poles works out to be Rs 10 crore. According to officials KEI is the lowest bidder but is yet to get the work order for the contract.
“The tender document therefore violated orders of the Government of Goa and also the directions of the High Court,” officials says.
Information reveals that GHRSSIDC vide letter with reference no 986 dated 28/06/2016 had written to GED that the entire quantity of RCC poles required for the project is to be purchased from GHRSSIDC. The matter was discussed in the Technical Advisory Committee of the GED on 06/07/2016 and it was proposed by the Chief Electrical Engineer (CEE) to raise this issue at the Goa States Works Board (GSWB) for intimation and decision
Accordingly, the CEE in its proposal number SE/CEE/CSC/2016-17/44 dated 02/08/2016 made to Goa State Works Board (GSWB) for approval had mentioned about the above deviations in the tender document.
Electricity Chief Engineer Dipak Bhajekar said the decision was taken keeping in view various factors. “The tender is a turnkey project in supply, erection, testing and commissioning with an estimated cost of Rs 139.43 cr and the requirement of poles is around 20,000 which is a huge quantity as such it had to be included in the said tender itself for supply and erection,” Bhajekar said.
Goa Handicrafts Corporation (GHRSSIDC) chairman Lavoo Mamledar says that every government department has to make purchases of any kind directly through GHRSSIDC. “In 1992 a circular was issued that any requirement of any department has to be purchased through GHRSSIDC but of late the departments are flouting rules,” he told Herald.
Mamledar also questioned how the Electricity Department is buying the electricity poles directly from the market when they are yet to clear dues of the Handicraft Corporation. “The Electricity Department as well as others owe the Corporation money but instead of paying that they are buying things from the open market. Here we are struggling recover our dues from the departments,” he said.
On the purchase of electricity poles, he said, “The Corporation keeps a 5 percent margin on the poles, which amounts to Rs 50 lakh in this case. Instead of a government corporation some other private business will make profit,” he says.

TOI Network Goa News

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