Corruption in MeECL: James favours probe

SHILLONG, May 4: Power Minister, James Sangma on Tuesday said he would welcome any inquiry into allegations of corruption in the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL).
“I welcome any inquiry and such inquiries will be good,” he told media persons against the backdrop of allegations and counter-allegations about corruption in the Corporation.
The MeECL employees have already asked Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma to institute an independent probe into the alleged irregularities.
Stating that he has discussed the matter with the CM, James said the inquiry would give an opportunity to understand internal working of the Corporation and where corruption is taking place.
Last week, the UDP, a constituent of the state’s ruling alliance, demanded an independent probe. Party president, Metbah Lyngdoh had made the demand through a letter written to the CM.
Commenting on the tug of war between the employees and the management, the Power Minister said there is systematic rot in the MeECL, which has been plaguing the organisation for a long time.
“The government is concerned. We want to bring reforms to address difficulties and solve problems afflicting the organisation,” he said.
He said this is a process of transition and during transition, the reforms are always restricted.
Director’s appointment justified
On the controversy surrounding the appointment of MK Chettri as the Director (Distribution) of Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited (MePDCL), James clarified that the appointment was made by following due procedure.
“He (Chettri) is the senior-most engineer in the MeECL at present. In fact, he is even senior to the present Director (Generations) of MePDCL. Therefore, there is no question of supersession,” the Power Minister said, responding to the demand of pressure groups such as KSU, FKJGP, HNYF and RBYF for Chettri’s immediate removal from the post.
Talking about the opposition to allotment of contract to M/S Broadcasting Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL) from Noida, Uttar Pradesh, James said the decision was made considering the problems in the maintenance and operations of the sub stations.
“Another misinformation being spread is that BECIL is a private firm. This is absolutely incorrect. It is a Central government PSU,” he said.
According to him, the BECIL had floated tender and there was a single bid. “As per central government norms, a contract can be allotted on a single bid if the bidder is a government-run PSU,” James said.
He downplayed concerns that those employed in the maintenance and operations of the sub-stations will become jobless. “I would like to allay the fear. We will find ways and means to engage them elsewhere or retain them at the sub-stations,” he added.

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