Following HT reports about the allotment of 'unbalanced' tenders worth Rs 1,717 crore under the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (RAPDRP), the Punjab government has sought a report from the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL).
The state government has asked the PSPCL to explain why it increased the base rate (Rs 1,280 crore) by 25%. The former has also sought details of the entire tendering process.
Power secretary, Punjab, Anirudh Tiwari said the issue related to financial matters involving crores of rupees. "I have sought a detailed reply from PSPCL chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) KD Chaudhry," he said.
The PSPCL has been asked to clarify why the tenders were clubbed.
When pointed out that the PSPCL management had cited government pressure to award tenders during the board of directors' meeting, Tiwari said, "Let me make it clear that there was no pressure from the government for any type of tendering. It's the PSPCL which has invited the tender and finalised it. The government is nowhere involved in it."
He said though reputed companies had got the tenders, it was not logical to pay more than the market rates. "Let the PSPCL file its reply. The government will then make a detailed comment," he said.
Tiwari had grilled the PSPCL management several times over the delay in implementation of Part-I of the RAPDRP, which is causing harassment to consumers as they are getting inflated bills. The PSPCL had awarded the tender to Mumbai-based Spanco, which has messed up the project after its technology partner M/s Accenture parted ways. However, instead of scrapping the project, the PSPCL is helping Spanco by engaging Accenture separately but at the "risk and cost of Spanco".
Meanwhile, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) Engineers Association has decided to exert pressure on the PSPCL management to include the term of 'no subletting' in the tender award conditions, apart from involving power engineers in the project to monitor quality control.