Bill withdrawn without passing MB; Saubhagya scheme turns out to be a gold mine for some officials at MSPDCL
Imphal, Oct 21:
In the continuous probe regarding the misuse of funds in various State government departments, an Imphal Times’ special investigation has unmasked large-scale irregularities, manipulation, and misappropriation of funds while implementing the Center’s flagship program, “Saubhagya” to the tune of over Rs 200 crores in Manipur.
Team Imphal Times has been investigating the alleged irregularities in implementing PM Modi’s ambitious scheme SAUBHAGYA and the alleged misappropriation of funds by the MSPDCL (Manipur State Power Distribution Company Ltd.) using sources from various authorities and finally by seeking information under the Right to Information Act, 2005.
As per our sources and the documents procured through the RTI Act 2005, it is learned that the work orders for implementing the schemes under SAUBHAGAYA have been awarded to 4 (four) firms for the 9 districts of Manipur.
An amount of Rs. 9,13,18,081 (Nine crores thirteen lakhs eighteen thousand and eighty-one) had been sanctioned for Imphal West district; Rs. 9,01,70931 (Nine Crore one lakh seventy thousand nine hundred and thirty-one) had been sanctioned for Imphal East and Rs. 8,91,33,490 (Eight Crore ninety-one lakhs thirty-three thousand four hundred and ninety) for Bishnupur district. Work orders for the three districts were awarded to M/S Industrial System LLP based in Guwahati on 8th March 2019.
To a Gurgaon-based firm identified as M/S Shyama Power India Limited, work orders for implementation of the scheme at Thoubal district (amount Rs. 11,53,07,738 (Eleven Crore fifty-three lakhs seven thousand seven hundred and thirty-eight), Churachandpur district (Amount Rs. 40,03,54,246 (Forty crores three lakhs fifty-four thousand two hundred and forty-six), Ukhrul district (Amount Rs. 21,57,26,495 (Twenty-one Crore Fifty-seven Lakhs twenty-six thousand four hundred and ninety-five) and Senapati District (Amount Rs.42,87,16,187 (Forty-two crores eighty-seven lakhs sixteen thousand one hundred eighty-seven) were awarded. That means the Gurgaon-based firm had been awarded for implementation of the SAUBHAGAYA scheme in four districts.
Work order for implementation of the SAUBHAGYA scheme at Tamenglong district was awarded to an Imphal based firm called M/S Khagemba Transmission and Construction. The total amount for the district was Rs. 20,11,91,551(Rs. Twenty crores eleven lakhs ninety one thousand five hundred and fifty-one).
As for the implementation of SAUBHAGYA at Chandel district, the work order was awarded to another Guwahati-based firm called M/S T & T Project Limited. The total cost was Rs. 40,67,43,500 (Rs. Forty Crores sixty-seven lakhs forty-three thousand and five hundred).
As per documents, the total amount sanctioned was Rs. 203,86,62,219/- (Two hundred and three crores eighty-six lakhs sixty-two thousand two hundred and nineteen ).
How Team Imphal Times found the various irregularities and misappropriation of the SAUBHAGYA Scheme?
As mentioned earlier, according to information procured through the RTI Act 2005, the implementation of the Saubhagya Scheme for Imphal West District was awarded to M/S Industrial Systems LLP, Kay M Plaza, 3rd Floor, Near KAR Bhawan, Ganeshguri, Guwahati-781 006 vide No.2/201(SAUBH-IW)/2019-MSPDCL-TECH/3797-811 dated 8th March 2019 at the cost of Rs. 9,13,18,081/-.
The scope of work among other include stringing of 16.78 km 11 kV line with ACSR weasel conductor, installation of 31 numbers of distribution transformer,laying of three half core AB Cable for 20.4 km, laying of single phase AB Cable for 23.01 km with provision for the supply of 1252 nos of 8 mtr steel tubular pole, supply of 31 number distribution transformer (100KVA-3, 63 KVA-22, 25 KVA-6), supply of AB Cable 3pase-20.4 km and single phase-23.01), etc.
On verification of the Transport documents and factory invoices furnished by the MSPDCL through the MIP under the RTI Act, the authority didn’t attach Annexure- A as mentioned in the document while furnishing a copy of the LOA.
Further study of the documents provided also reveals that for 8 mtr STP factory invoice for 991 numbers is available and paper for 261 numbers is not furnished. However receipt of 1252 nos of 8mtr STP is recorded in the MB. D. For Weasel Conductor and Ariel Bunch Cable, no factory invoice supports the transport Challan for transportation of 52.86 km of ACSR weasel conductor and AB Cable. MB recorded receipt of exactly 52.86 km(M B Supply Page No 19, SI.No.95-4.1 km and SI. No 96. 48.76 km) as in the estimation. Generally, ACSR Conductors are dispatched in Packed Drums with an average length of about 3 km. Receive of the exact quantity as in the estimation is very much doubtful, length of the conductor as summation of the length of the drums will never tally with the estimated figure. Likewise, record receipt of A B Cable as in the estimation suggests table measurement.
Thus in the absence of documentary proof, there is scope for manipulation in the supply for the above items.
When team Imphal Times analyses the M B (Measurement book) Erection Page No. 3, SI. No.9 records the erection of 0.54 circuit km 11 kV line and Page 44, SI.No 11 records the erection of 0.8 circuit km 11 kV line for Urban areas. M B Erection Page No.16, SI. No 48 records 8.32 circuit km of 11 kV line and page No. 51, SI. No. 56 records the erection of 15.98km of 11 kV line for Rural areas. Total length of the ACSR Weasel conductor as per erection record is( 0.54+0.8+8.32+15.98) km i,e 25.64 circuit km which is equivalent to 25.64x3km i,e 76.92 km of conductor against the supply of 52.86 km. The source of the additional requirement of (76.92-52.86)km i,e 24.06 km of ACSR weasel conductor is not reflected in the MBs.
Moreover, the Measurement Books submitted do not follow CPWD manuals and no record of payment is reflected in the MBs. No insurance policy for the materials on transit is attached in the transport challan and claim for insurance should have been out rightly rejected. The LOA does not have the scope for supplying consumer service materials. Hence claim for single phase service connection as per REC Specification cannot be verified.
Team Imphal Times also managed to procure the official survey report for implementation of “Saubhagaya” and additional infra for “Saubhagaya” under DDUGJY (Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana) in Thoubal district. The approved survey report was sent to M/S Shyama Power India Limited on 7th August 2019. As per the approved survey report (vide no. DGM (TBL)/4(27)/MSPDCL/2018-19/622-26 dated 29th July 2019) the M/S Shyama Power India Limited was asked to start implementation of the SAUBHAGAYA Scheme at various villages in Thoubal district under phase 1.
As per the approved survey report, a total length of 28.174 km HT line, total length of 36.264 km LT 1 Phase, total length of 23.862 Km. LT 3 phase, total number of 21 – 25KVA DTR, a total number of 7 – 63 KVA 1787 number of 8m STP and 56 number of 9 m STP should be installed and erected.
Work completion report have been submitted by M/S Shyama Power India Limited for the said district and the bill amount of Rs. 11,53,07,738 (Eleven Crores fifty-three lakhs seven thousand seven hundred and thirty-eight) has been withdrawn.
However, there was no sign of any work that are supposed to be taken up under SAUBHAGAYA, being completed or even taken up at some of the villages.
Except for a few there are no work seen taken up under SAUBHAGAYA at the approved villages Papal, Tekcham Chingya Leikai, Chingtham Leikai Tentha Khongban Mathak , Tentha Mayangching. Imphal Times have also visited the site at which they have reported completed at some spot in Thoubal district. As provided by them under the GPS coordinates, where they reported to have erected LT poles, team Imphal Times fails to find many as stated by them.
What is the SAUBHAGAYA scheme?
The SAUBHAGYA scheme also known as Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana was launched on 11th October, 2017 by the Mnistry of Power, Government of India. The ambitious scheme was launched in Manipur on 29th November, 2017 , by the then Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, R.K. Singh and Manipur’s Chief Minister N. Biren Singh. A total of approximately 1.75 lakh households (1.62 lakh rural households and 0.13 lakh urban households) of Manipur are proposed to be included under the scheme.
SAUBHAGAYA Scheme is the world’s biggest Universal electrification initiative with collaborative and concerted efforts of Centre and States. It is a concurrent program to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana’ (DDUGJY).
The SAUBHAGYA scheme aims at providing:
a) Last mile connectivity and electricity connection to all un-electrified households in rural areas;
b) Last mile connectivity and electricity connection to all remaining economically poor un-electrified households in urban areas. Non-poor urban households are excluded from this scheme;
c) Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) based standalone system for un-electrified households located in remote and inaccessible villages/habitations, where grid extension is not feasible or cost effective.
Under the scheme, Rs. 14,109 crores (including grant of Rs. 9,093 crores) has been sanctioned by the Ministry of Power to 26 States/Union Territories, against which Rs. 8,840.9 Cr (incl. grant of Rs. 5,408.44 Crores has been released till 30th June, 2021. As of 31st March 2019, the country achieved electrification of 262.84 lakh households under Saubhagya (except a minuscule number of 18374 households in LWE areas of Chhattisgarh). – a remarkable progress made in a record 18 months. The achievement of Universal household electrification, which implies 100% access to electricity has been certified by the Chief Secretaries of States. Further, on the request of 7 States (Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Manipur, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh), the Ministry of Power accorded time extension approval to electrify additional 19.09 lakh unelectrified households, which were unwilling earlier to get electrified and had expressed their willingness before March 2019. 18.85 lakh households have been electrified in respect of the same and the States have reported 100% electrification of all willing households identified before 31st March 2019.