Imphal, Oct 25:
Imphal Times still stands with its news report published on its October 21, 2022 issue in connection with the swindling of over Rs. 200 crores from the Saubhagaya scheme by the officials of the Manipur State Power Distribution Company Limited (MSPDCL). Since the time when reporter of Imphal Times started seeking information regarding the implementation of the Saubhagaya Scheme, the officials particularly the managing Director and the Executive Director of MSPDCL had tried to settle the matter using all means through the Editor of this newspaper. It took over 3 hearings at the Manipur Information Commission in procuring documents related to the implementation of the Saubhagaya Scheme in Manipur. Till now the MSPDCL is not providing some more important documents and another hearing is pending with the Manipur Information Commission. It is not the Imphal Times that should clarify the report but it is rather the MSPDCL Managing Director to clarify his press clarification broadcasted at local TV channel for confusing and misleading the Imphal Times news report that were based on documents provided by the MSPDCL through the MIC.
In the press conference held yesterday at the office of the MSPDCL, Managing Director said that the project sanction cost for the scheme is Rs. 181.05 crore only and the project closure approval is Rs. 192.70 crore. If his statement stands officially correct than why the MSPDCL is awarding LOA / work orders to 4 (four) firms for implementing the schemes under SAUBHAGAYA at 9 districts of Manipur.
As mentioned in the earlier report a total of Rs. 203,86,62,219/- have been awarded to the four firms for implementation of the project on March 8, 2019. However, the LOA for the Senapati District was amended on March 3, 2019 and the amount for implementation of the project for Senapati District was reduced to Rs. 40,21,74,033/-. Earlier, the total amount for the district was Rs. 42,87,16,187/-. After amendment of this LOA, total amount awarded to the four firms is Rs. 201,21,20,069/-. Which means it is still over Rs. 200 crores. All the work orders/ LOA for each district allotted to the four firms are procured from the MSPDCL through the Manipur Information Commission by the Imphal Times reporters. If the total amount sanction for the implementation of SAUBHAGAYA schemes in nine district of Manipur is just Rs. 181.05 crore and the project closure approval is Rs. 192.70 crore then at what capacity the MSPDCL has been awarding work cost over Rs. 200 crores to the four firms.
In connection with the none disclosure of the Annexure- A of the LOA, the Managing Director of the MSPDCL stated that the Annexure – A of the LOA was provided to the RTI appellant on 11/10/2021 in front of the office chamber of the State Chief Information Commissioner. He also stated that – “if any document is missing, it may be intimated to MSPDCL as there might be chances of document missing due to bonafide mistake…”. When the LOA of the nine districts have been received from the MSPDCL officials, it was stated that Annexure –A has been attached, but on proper verification it was not found. So far the MSPDCL have not provided the so called Annexure–A. The one that the MD of the MSPDCL had stated was not the Annexure–A but a description of implementation of Saubhagaya. Nothing such as Annexure–A has been mention. Besides, what does the Managing Director means when he said that “there might be chances of document missing due to bonafide mistake”. Does the authority of the MSPDCL not qualified enough for keeping or maintaining the documents. Or is it intentional to show that the MSPDCL have no respect for the RTI Act and the Manipur Information Commission. It is however true that Annexure-A for Senapati district only has been attached after amendment.
Regarding the missing of 261 poles, Imphal Times only reported as per documents furnished by the MSPDCL. Regarding invoice for supporting the transport challan with regards to Weasel Conductor and AB Cable, the MSPDCL provides no information to the RTI Appellant even as he had stated that all documents are with the MSPDCL.
In connection with the clarification on the records at Measurement Book (MB), documents provided by them showed many payments being done without passing at the MB, which is mandatory as per CPWD manuals. However it is alright doing payment through Public Finance Management System (PFMS). However, how a corporate like MSPDCL could paid bill without reflecting it in the MB.
In another clarification, the MD, Subhachandra had given a self contradictory statement saying that no Bill amount has been neither claimed nor withdrawn by the firm implementing for Thoubal district. The bill Amount which the Imphal had reported to have been awarded for Thoubal district was Rs. 11,53,07,738/-. However, he also stated that the firm M/S Shyama Power India Limited had submitted bills amounting to Rs. 10,27,29,117/-and a sum of Rs. 9,51,58,087/-has been paid. That means MD of MSPDCL Subhachandra has been misleading the people as almost near amount of the bill has been withdrawn.
Imphal Times have also procured an approved survey report for the implementation of Saubhagaya scheme in Thoubal district. GPS coordinates have been given and there are evidences of one MSPDCL officer complaining the Principal Secretary of the government of Manipur over non implementation of works under Saubhagaya at some villages. Above this Imphal Times staffs have visited and inspected the site where poles and transformers have been installed as per the GPS co-ordinates. Imphal Times is ready to provide photo documentary evidences of the site, the MSPDCL stated to have been implemented.
Before Imphal Times files the report about swindling of over Rs. 200 crore , the ED had sent a person known to the editor of Imphal Times along with a suspicious bag which was later confirmed to have contain some big amount of money. The ED and MD had earlier met the Editor of this newspaper at the MSPDCL office. Some video records and audio records of the conversation are still with the Editor. Those will also be exposed at appropriate time.