Meghalaya rejects Cong plea for probe into power scheme

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Shillong, Sep 13 (IANS) calling implementation of the Saubhagya scheme in Meghalaya a “big scam”, the opposition Congress, here on Friday, demanded an independent inquiry into it. But Power Minister James Sangma rubbished the allegation and ruled out any probe.

Initiating a discussion in the Assembly on the Saubhagya scheme for electrification of 100 per cent households, Miani D Shira (Congress) alleged irregularities in its implementation. Shira alleged the tender was predetermined.

Supporting the demand for an independent probe, Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma termed implementation of the Saubhagya scheme in the state as a “big scam”, which must be stopped to protect the interest of state and people.

“There was a malafide intent in the tendering process for the Saubhagya scheme. But the government is in denial mode,” the former Chief Minister said.

Rubbishing the allegation, the Power Minister said, “the bid documents were prepared on the basis of guidelines of the Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and the national tender was floated on September 26, 2018. There is no scam. Calling the scheme’s implementation a big scam is not at correct.”

Under the Saubhagya scheme, the Minister said, within six months 500 villages had been provided electricity. In the past three and half years, 1991 villages were electrified under the Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY).

He also said payments made to contractors were under material components. The scheme comprised two components – materials and civil works.

The minister said when the Centre changed deadline to complete electrification from March 31, 2019 to December 31, 2018, the tender documents were modified to complete the works within new date.

–IANS

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