Mandi MP smells scam in Uhl-III hydropower project

Updated on Jun 12, 2020 07:35 PM IST

The project is facing a serious threat of future investment of crores for its completion after the blast in the penstock last month

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Hindustan Times/ Mandi | ByRoop Upadhyay, Mandi

Mandi MP Ram Swarup Sharma said that a scam had taken place in the purchase of steel pipes for the Uhl-III hydropower project, constructed by Beas Valley Power Corporation Limited, in the Jogindernagar sub-division of Mandi district

He said that a panel of experts organised seven meetings to decide on the purchase of steel pipes but surprisingly awarded the contract to Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) in 2008. He added that the state had already faced huge losses in four other power projects after installing the pipes purchased by the company.

He has strongly demanded the state government to take disciplinary and punitive action on the expert committee constituted by the electricity board.

Last month, about 30 persons engaged in a trial run of a hydroelectric station had a narrow escape when a water flow regulating channel gave way, deluging the powerhouse and damaging machines worth crores of rupees besides entrapping engineers and workers.

Several men got entrapped in the powerhouse as the penstock a channel or pipe for conveying water to a hydroelectric station or waterwheel gave way,

“It was very unfortunate to cancel the contract for construction of the project from Thapar and Thapar Company in 2001. If this contract was not cancelled, today, the project would have been ready,” said Sharma.

He said that the purchase of pipes and the panel of expert reports have been made during the Congress regime.

The Uhl stage-III hydropower project was commissioned in 2003 with an estimated cost of 431 crore with completion schedule of five years but the project is facing a serious threat of future investment of crores for its completion after the blast in the penstock.

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