iconimg Friday, August 28, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, June 21, 2013
Energy minister Ajit Pawar dismissed BJP’s allegations that his department escalated the cost of Mahagenco’s 10 generation projects by Rs. 8,616 crore over the past seven years. He also rejected the party’s charges that this was done to help political leaders and officials concerned to take hefty bribes from private generators who sold power to the state company Mahavitaran.

Pawar blamed the project delays on the Centre-owned companies that supplied equipment to generation plants.

“Disgruntled company officers have given misleading information to the BJP based on which the party made false allegations ahead of next year’s polls,” Pawar said on Thursday.

He said action would be take action against officials if they were found to have indulged in corruption and if they were found to have caused any sort of delay.

Power tariff in Maharashtra is much lower than in BJP ruled states, he said.

“BJP doesn’t have any political agenda before the polls. Hence, it is politicising the issue,” he said.

Pawar did not give any figure on the cost escalations nor explain how senior officer SC Thotve, despite lacking the required qualification and experience, was made the director of projects in 2007.

Mahagenco said vendors delayed the delivery of equipment even though several power projects were on track and generating more than 2500MW daily.

While making charges against deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, Bharatiya Janata Party state spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said the information was based on documents procured under the RTI (Right to Information act) from Mahagenco.

This is bigger than the irrigation scam and the leaders of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) benefited from this too, he said.

“Our capacity addition has been a major reason for making the state power cut- free,” said Mahgenco in a statement adding that it had a plan in place to complete the remaining projects without any further delay.

Mahavitaran said it did not buy power at higher rates.