The Meghalaya High Court will hear on Friday the petition related to a controversial tender floated by the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) for the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna – Saubhagya for providing universal household electrification in the State.
The petition filed by SA Power Utilities Private Limited challenged the tender process carried out by the MeECL. The single Bench of Justice SR Sen will take up the matter. Allegations were raised that financial requirements of the tender have been devised to exclude local and small-scale contractors and favour certain contractors.
Another allegation was that, the bid document was favouring two parties from outside the State, Satnam Global Infraprojects Limited, Delhi and Patel Engineering, Delhi. It was also alleged that only eight days were given for casting of the tender. The eight-day deadline includes weekends and Gandhi Jayanti, which means only three to four working days were allotted for bidders to take part in the tendering process and the argument is that how such big tenders can be done at such short notice.
Further it was questioned as to why the scope of work of existing contractors of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) and others were not extended. Though the deadline for completion is December 31 2018, but work is yet to start. In the tender qualification criteria, the stakes were too high, and none of the local contractors from Meghalaya qualified.
The tender was called on September 26 last and the opening of bids was set for October 4 last. The court had earlier stayed the entire tendering process till the next date of hearing. The High Court directed the MeECL and the Meghalaya Government to file counter affidavits while the MeECL was directed not to proceed with the tender.
Under Saubhagya, the Union Ministry of Power had sanctioned in two parts for Meghalaya. In the first part, Rs 265 crore was sanctioned in August this year, followed by another amount Rs 207 crore was sanctioned in September.