After initially going into the denial mode to cover up faulty service of its hired billing service provider, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has finally approached the union power ministry for action against information technology (IT) firm Spanco, which is undertaking a Rs 350 crore project for the state electricity firm.
In a letter to the joint secretary (power), PSPCL CMD KD Chaudhary has said, "Spanco has failed to provide desired results", and demanded action.
The PSPCL has also written to the Power Finance Corporation (PFC), which is funcing the project. PFC had empanelled Spanco for bidding for the project.
"We have brought all the facts -- faulty service, harassment of consumers, failure of the company to bring back its technology partner Accenture -- in our letters, and demanded immediate intervention of the union government and PFC," said Chaudhary.
He noted that despite having been served a notice, Spanco has failed to bring back its technology partner Accenture. "For scrapping the project or going ahead, we have to apprise the PFC and the union power ministry."
On remedial measures to save consumers from harassment, Chaudhary claimed that the PSPCL had rectified the errors in the billing and complaint registration software. "This software won't be used for other cities till it becomes error-free."
The tender for the project was awarded in April 2010 for implementation in 47 towns of Punjab. So far, Patiala and Mohali and six small towns have the system,.
There have been questions over the very manner in which the project was awarded to Spanco. In the initial tendering, it was not eligible at the technical stage, as it did not posses the needed know-how. However, in re-tendering that came after Spanco partnered with IT major Accenture, it bagged the project.
The Punjab State Electricity Board Engineers' Association is demanding that this project be handed over to them.