The opposition Congress on Thursday questions the revision of fund for 22.5 megawatts Ganol small hydro project stage-I in Garo Hills claiming the erstwhile Meghalaya Progressive Alliance was sitting over it for one year, thereby lapsing the tendering time.
The cabinet has in September 2020 approved the revised cost estimate at Rs 507.71 crore.
Questioning the revision of fund in the 22.5 megawatts Ganol small hydro project stage-I in Garo Hills, Leader of Opposition, Dr. Mukul Sangma said, “Ganol is the first hydroelectricity project to be developed in Garo hills, but in 2008 we couldn’t form the Government, and the incumbent Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma was the minister of power in 2008, they sat on it, they did not allow, there is a validity period for any offer in a bidding by any contractor.”
He added, “ Unless you extend the validity, You will not ultimately be able to proceed as per law. That means the validity lapses and bidders will definitely then come up with a strategy that the Government has to come up with a new tender.”
Responding to the Government’s allegation of delay or ‘failure to complete the infrastructure development work, Dr. Sangma said, “Subsequently to revive this project we took time and as we decided to revive the project we took time and as we decided to revive the project, there has to be new DPR. “
“The new DPR with the earlier Dpr when there is a gap between the first DPR and the second DPR you can easily understand that it is the normal process there be escalation and this escalation has resulted because of the delay of so many years, we had to retender it with a new project, So it becomes a new project,” he said.
Blaming the Government for escalation of the project cost of the Ganol Hydro Power project, the Leader of the opposition said, “We have tied up Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) for the implementation and completion of this project, dedicated fund in addition to whatever sources of fund we provided earlier. but what has happened now, suddenly they said there is a need for revision, after 60 plus percent of work has been already completed they come up with revision estimate which will require hundreds of additional crores of rupees .”
He asked, “ Is it something when the Government is pulled up by opposition? They can just shrug away saying nothing has happened.”
Earlier, on Wednesday During No Confidence Motion, Chief Minister Sangma, while taking potshots at the previous Congress government, said that the price determination of the project was Rs 116 crore initially, but the work was allotted at a cost of Rs 248 crore.
“The excavation work was done at a cost of Rs 24 crore instead of Rs 2.4 crore while de-watering was done at a cost of Rs 24.8 crore instead of Rs 1.15 crore,” Sangma said.
Stating that the unbundling of MeECL had cost the government Rs 800 crore and that the burden was now on the incumbent government
The opposition leader, however, Slam the Chief Minister said, “yesterday the chief minister tried to somehow hide the truth of coming out clean on their intent of unnecessarily creating a situation where the state will be looser by hundreds of crores of rupees because of the so-called revise estimate which is in the process and for which the cabinet has decided to approve that additional fund.”
“You look at this whole modus operandi I have said there is a well-scripted modus operandi taking place while actually executing the whole plan,” The CLP leader said.