NEEPCO

SHILLONG: The Khasi students’ union (KSU) of Meghalaya has opposed to the decision of the NEEPCO to ‘shift’ its offices from Shillong to Guwahati in Assam.

“The Management of NEEPCO since March, 2020 shifted important offices of the Corporation to Guwahati from Shillong,” the KSU stated in its letter to union home minister Amit Shah.

“It is matter of fact that the NEEPCO Management have hired a building at Guwahati on a monthly rent of Rs 5,30,479.00 …since March, 2021 despite NEEPCO having its own establishment at Shillong,” the KSU claimed in its letter.

The KSU stated: “This is a kind of misuse of power and resources will add extra establishment expenses for the Corporation which has to be borne by the common people.”

The KSU further urged union home minister Amit Shah to “look into the matter, so that the offices of NEEPCO shifted to Guwahati unceremoniously be brought back to Shillong”.

Also read: Meghalaya: Report on death of former HNLC leader Cheristerfield to be tabled in assembly on September 9

FULL LETTER:

To,

Shri Amit Shah,

Hon’ble Union Home Minister,

Chairman – North Eastern Council,

New Delhi.

Subject: – Shifting of Offices of North Eastern Electric Power Corporation and Functioning of Chairman, Directors & CVO from Guwahati– regarding.

Respected Sir,

With due respect in reference to the subject cited above regarding North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO), the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), a students’ body from Meghalaya understand that NEEPCO was established under the North Eastern Council in 1976. The Head Office of NEEPCO was established in Shillong with an objective to develop the vast Hydro Potentiality of the North Eastern Region and to improve the socio-economic condition of the region. The installation capacity of NEEPCO is 2057 MW, the Corporation has its potential to become one of the best PSUs of North East.

The main objective of NEEPCO was to plan, promote, and organize an integrated and efficient development of electric power through conventional and nonconventional sources, and all ancillary activities related thereto, in all its aspects, including planning, investigation and preparation of preliminary, feasibility and definite project reports, construction, acquisition, disposal, generation, operation and maintenance, renovation and modernization of electric power stations and projects, transmission, distribution, purchase and sale of electric power, in India and abroad with special emphasis on the North Eastern Region as defined under the North Eastern Council Act of 1971.

As we understand, NEEPCO is a holding company of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) since March, 2020. The Management of NEEPCO since March, 2020 shifted important offices of the Corporation to Guwahati from Shillong with a logic of smooth functioning. It is surprising to many that during Covid – 19, the Management of NEEPCO faced difficulties and functions from Guwahati but post Covid, still functioning from Guwahati. No other Central Government establishment, PSUs or Banks have shifted the working place from Shillong during Covid – 19 which is exceptional to NEEPCO Management.

The members of the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) many a time wanted to meet Chairman and other Directors of NEEPCO but it was informed that Chairman and Directors along with key officials are functioning from Guwahati. The then Chairman, Mr V. K. Singh (Retd.) & Director (Technical) Mr. Hemanta Deka (Retd.) hardly attended Head Quarter ever since their appointment as Chairman and Director (Technical). The trend is still continuing, Directors are occasional visitor at NEEPCO, HQ, Shillong.

It has come to the notice of the Union from time to time through media reports that different offices of NEEPCO are shifting from Shillong. The NEEPCO Management has been in denial and clarified that no offices are shifting from Shillong. Mr. B. Maharana, Director (Finance) had denied shifting of any offices from Shillong to Guwahati in the month of January, 2022 but apparently an office order no: 1038 dated 25.06.2022 testify that O/o Executive Director (Operation and Maintenance), O/o Executive Director (Contract and Procurement), O/o Executive Director (Corporate Project Monitoring) has been shifted to Guwahati along with a section of Information & Technology (IT) and Finance.

It is matter of fact that the NEEPCO Management have hired a building at Guwahati on a monthly rent of Rs. 5, 30, 479.00 (Rupees: Five Lakh Thirty Thousand and Four Hundred Seventy Nine only) from M/s Kamal Jail, Punit Jain, Nikhil Jain & Biswajit Talukdar since March, 2021 despite NEEPCO having its own establishment at Shillong. Moreover, NEEPCO has its official residence for Chairman and Directors at Shillong but the official quarter has been abandoned since 2020 by the than Chairman, Mr. V. K. Singh and other Directors. This is a kind of misuse of power and resources will add extra establishment expenses for the Corporation which has to be borne by the common people.

The visit of Union Minister of Power and Heavy Industry, Mr. Krishan Pal Gujjar at Nongpoh, Meghalaya clearly stated that there is no direction from the Ministry of Power to shift office from Shillong and Officials have to function from here. Contrary to the statement of Union Minster on 13.07.2022, a group of Senior Management employees influenced the then Chairman, Mr. V. K. Singh to shift offices from Shillong. It is evident from the office order no: 1038 dated 25.06.2022 that Mr. V. K. Singh approved shifting of offices on 19.05.2022 just before his retirement. It is apparent that NEEPCO Management not only misled the Ministry of Power, Govt. of India but also the people of Meghalaya too.

The appointment of Chairman, Directors and Chief Vigilance Officer is against the NEEPCO, HQ, Shillong but since the year 2020, the Chairman, Directors and Chief Vigilance Officer functions from Guwahati which is violation of establishment rules.

Shifting of NEEPCO offices from Shillong to Guwahati will have a direct impact on employment opportunities and other opportunities to the educated youth of the state of Meghalaya. There is no such precedent available that organizations set up under North Eastern Council (NEC) have been shifted to any other place from its actual establishment. Therefore, shifting of offices of NEEPCO from Shillong is a discrimination to the people and the state of Meghalaya.

The North Eastern Council worked enormously in last 5 decade and organizations like NEPA, NEEPCO, NERAMAC, NERIST, RIPAN, NERIWALM, RIMS, LGBRIMH, NESAC, BBCI, RDC, RNC, RIPSAT, CBCT & NETDC were setup in different state of North East for the socio-economic development of the region.

The Union also express its concern for a permanent Chairman and Director (Technical), the Ministry of Power must appoint a regular CMD & Director (Technical) in NEEPCO. The region is also facing shortage of power due to man-made digester in Kopili Power Station and Khandong Power Station in Dima Hasao District, Assam. The due share of power from this power station is not received by Meghalaya due to renovation of these power station.

The Union urged the Hon’ble Chairman; NEC, Union Home Minister and Vice Chairman, NEC; DONER Minister to kindly look into the matter, so that the offices of NEEPCO shifted to Guwahati unceremoniously be brought back to Shillong.

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