Meghalaya Youth Congress
Youth Congress members stage protest in front of the office of MeECL at Hawakhana in Tura on Monday. Image credit - Northeast Now

The Youth Congress members of Meghalaya on Monday staged protest against the MeECL for its failure to complete the electrification project in Garo Hills on time.

They also alleged corruption in the implementation of the Saubhagya electrification scheme.

The Youth Congress activists with placards staged protest in front of the office of Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) at Hawakhana in Tura.

The placards read as “MeECL is at fault – people of Garo Hills need answer”, “Stop wasting public money”, “Why do the transformers have to be replaced time & again? Installing faulty transformers is waste of public money” and “Saubhagya – 100% electrification: Completion date – 31-12-18, still not even 30-40% villages connected out of 1000 plus villages in Garo Hills”.

Alleging favouritism in the tendering process, the Youth Congress said in a statement, “Tender was hurriedly allotted and terms and conditions of the qualifying criteria were set very high to favour some contractors on the pretext that firms with high financial and technical capability will be given the works as deadline is very short.”

Informing that the electrification project was scheduled to be completed on December 31, 2018, the Youth Congress alleged that till date not even 30-40 pc of the electrification work been completed.

“In whole Garo Hills, more than 1000+ villages were to be covered and work to be done for 100% electrification,” it said.

But even after more than a year of the start of the tendering process, electrification work in 300-400 villages has not been completed as on date, it said.

The agitating leaders said the tender was allotted at a very high rate which was 50% higher than the estimated tender value.

It said while the tender value was Rs 179 crore, the allotted amount was Rs 270 crore and it is Rs 91 crore higher than the original estimated tender value.

“But the contractor of Garo Hills – M/s Onycon – left the work in between. Such was the selection of the contractor with high financial and technical capability,” it said.

“The whole tendering process, fixation of high qualification criteria, selection of contractors, leaving of work by M/s Onycon, delay of work progress gives a clear picture beyond reasonable doubt that the whole system of MeECL is at fault and the people of Garo Hills need an answer for the blatant misuse of public money,” it added.

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