Adding to problems for the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), the PSEB Engineers Association has demanded an inquiry against the management of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) for favouring private firms by allegedly allotting tenders of the second phase of the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP) at much higher rates.
The association believed that it would result into huge losses to the state exchequer, as despite being given extra money to companies, the latter may not complete the work within the scheduled time.
The association has also written a letter to deputy chief minister of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal apprising him of the alleged favouritism adopted by the PSPCL management during the allotment of tenders.
It claimed that the PSPCL management had awarded tenders to three companies namely Larsen and Toubro, Godrej and A2Z infrastructure for Rs 1,717.47 crore against the departmental base rate of Rs 1,279.85 crore, thus giving direct benefit of Rs 437.62 crore to these companies.
The R-APDRP is Centre-sponsored project to cut losses by augmenting the distribution system. The schemes covered towns with population above 30,000, and in Punjab, 47 towns being covered comprise nearly 20-lakh consumers.
It may be mentioned that Part-B of the programme was to be in two parts: the 33 KV/66 KV transmission work on the one hand and the LT and 11-KV distribution work on the other hand.
"Instead of allotting the tenders separately, the PSPCL management clubbed all these works and awarded the tenders at higher rates to private firms, believing that the higher rates would make the companies execute the work within time and with much higher quality," said Baldev Singh Sran, president of the association.
In the letter, the PSEB Association mentioned that the execution of the works is also getting delayed and only 10 to 15% progress has been achieved against the targeted 70% during the first 18 months after allotment.
"However, A2Z infrastructure has not even started the works so far. Therefore, neither quality nor timely execution has been achieved so far. Moreover, extra costs have been incurred thereby causing loss to the exchequer worth hundreds of crores," the association alleged.
Er Sanjeev Sood, general secretary of the association said they have been highlighting this issue before the PSPCL management but no action has been taken till date.
"Even an expert committee, constituted by the PSPCL, suggested that the PSPCL should supply critical material on its own to maintain quality and carrying out construction works through contractors which will assure execution at lower costs but the management is not working on their advice," Sood said.
The association claimed that R-APDRP works of six more towns which are worth around Rs 200 crore are again being awarded by clubbing the distribution and sub-transmission works, which would further put unnecessary burden on the consumers of the state.