J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, also heading the Power Development Department (PDD), has been taken for a ride by the deep-rooted nexus between the suppliers of energy meters and senior engineers of PDD.
According to the recent inspection report prepared by the Development Commissioner Power, J&K, “The three phase electronic Tri-Vector meters rejected by the MPPKVVCL (Madhya Pradesh Paschim Kshetra Vidyut Vitaran Company Ltd.) have been supplied to JKPDD for installing at the PHE sites in Jammu division”.
Last year the tenders were invited for design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of Three-Phase Four Wire LT Electronic Tri-Vector meters for metering of installations of Government departments in EM& RE wing, Jammu.
The nexus came to light during the routine inspection of the Public Health Engineering sites across Jammu division.One of the team of engineers which inspected Pumping station Dhyansar No. 2 in Bari Brahamana area on the outskirts of Jammu in November 2013 found that the supplier has supplied meters which are actually property of MPPKVVCL.
The meters were manufactured for a job the specifications of which were issued by CMD, MPPKVVCL on 26-11-2010. According to the report of the Development commissioner, Power, the copy of which is in the possession of The Pioneer, “even the property tag has been covered up by the supplier to conceal the fact”.
“Since this is very old meter actually meant for different utility i.e., MPPKVVCL, the meter is not confirming to NIT stipulation,” the
The inspection team also detected discrepancies between the NIT stipulation and the product supplied by M/s Genus.
A senior engineer of the PDD said “at this stage it is difficult to estimate the quantum of scam”. He however, claimed that meters worth `15,000 to `20,000 were supplied by the manufacturer to JKPDD despite these discrepancies. Kick backs offered by the meter suppliers to PDD engineers cannot be ruled out, he added.
The PDD engineers, who supervised the entire inspection process, are hoping to rectify the misdeeds of vested interests who had duped the state exchequer by purchasing discarded meters.
The report of the Development Commissioner has also highlighted the fact that the decision to purchase the meters from the said supplier was taken by ignoring the decisions taken during the meeting of the Power Finance Corporation with meter manufacturers on July 5, 2012.
According to the report, “the inbuilt modem is against the decision taken in the meeting held by the Power Finance Corporation (PFC) with meter manufacturers on July 5, 2012. A separate report prepared by the Executive Engineer, IT Core Group has also revealed vide communication no ND/IT/08/September Dated 05-09-2013 that these meters will not communicate with the data centre since these meters have in-built modem. The same was not asked for vide general technical specification of NIT. According to the report of DC, Power, “the built in Modem used by M/s Genus have their proprietary protocol having Dial up handshaking, even not permanent hand shaking, so not suitable for communicating with MDAS and Data centre as also earlier mentioned that these meters do not have RS 232 PORT. “ This drawback will have financial implications as downloading full data through BSC provided by Genus will at least take 15-17 minutes for each meter means equal number of calls multiplied by cell rate for each meter.
Citing several other discrepancies in the three phase electronic tri-vector meter the Development Commissioner, Power has forwarded a copy of the report to the Chief Engineer EM&RE Wing, Jammu, Principal Secretary PDD and Executive Engineer (IT), Jammu for detailed investigation in the matter. Emails forwarded to the office of Power Minister, Principal Secretary, PDD and Development commissioner Power yielded no reply till December 16, 2013.