SHILLONG, Jan 20: The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of MeECL suppliers and contractors, on Wednesday, urged Power Minister, James PK Sangma, to revisit on the policies and programmes of future projects and schemes and give preference to the suppliers and contractors from Meghalaya in allocating projects and schemes.
After submitting a memorandum to the minister, Chairman of the Committee, H Rumnong, said, “We have urged Power Minister James Sangma to revisit on the policies and programmes on future projects and schemes, for which preferences should be given to local contractors and suppliers”.
Stating that recently there has been a trend to formulate the project on a turnkey basis, Rumnong said that the turnkey project is the concept where a particular package of work is clubbed together and awarded to one company. The company then sources out the materials from the same manufacturer and distributors which the local suppliers and contractors use to procure, he added.
“But these companies actually sublet the contract to the local contractors. Therefore, the big companies, who are awarded the contract, are enjoying at the behest of the local contractors,” the JAC chairman said.
He pointed out that that through the Saubhagya Scheme, the local people can execute and do the work by themselves; which is an example that distribution schemes should come to the local contractors.
He informed that 24 per cent of the work under the Saubhagya Scheme was initially carried out by the department through local suppliers and contractors. He, however, said that when contracts to implement the scheme were awarded to big companies, they had expected that there will be induction of machines so that the work process will be fast; but that did not happen.
The JAC chairman further informed that they have also passed a resolution that suppliers and contractors across the board will not individually go to any company, which has come to execute any electrical work and scheme in Meghalaya.
“When it comes to transmission and distribution, the local people, who have the capacity and are well-equipped, should be allowed to execute the work. Employing the local people will ensure that there will be no flight of capital from the state,” Rumnong observed.
Talking about their meeting with the power minister, he informed that they have raised the issue about the cancellation of the work order on the augmentation of the 32KV Mawlai sub-station, while adding that work orders on augmentation was issued in August-October, 2019.
Stating that after a gap of six months, on March 3, 2020, the work order was cancelled, the JAC chairman said, “The total work which has been supplied and executed on the ground is worth Rs 2.46 crore. It is a really unfortunate and arbitrary action taken by the Board of Directors of the MeECL without looking into the details of the matter. This is highly illegal”.
Rumnong, however, said that the power minister has assured that he will take up this issue to see that the cancellation of the work order is revoked.