Opposition parties seek Governor's probe in mega power projects

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Gangtok, Apr 2 (UNI) Three national opposition parties in Sikkim- Congress, BJP and CPIM- today demanded Governor Sudarshan Agarwal to probe into the 26 hydro power projects allocated to private and public sectors by the state government.

These 26 mega power projects in different rivers of the state have been projected to generate 4747 MW power.

In a 14 page elaborate memorandum, the three political parties have raised various irregularities including allegations of tenders not being floated, inflated capacity and the dubious antecedents of private developers.

The Governor was requested to seek details from the state government for the doubtful details, tender documents, selection basis, capacity generation and the position of the government on the loans being taken by the private developers. A 15 day deadline was given by the opposition parties.

"If no satisfactory reply is given, this may be kindly referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation as per the special responsibility the Constitution of India has vested to the Governor of Sikkim under Article 371 F (g)," said the opposition parties in the memorandum.

State Congress Chief Nar Bahadur Bhandari said the opposition parties are not against the power projects, but stressed that there should be accountability and the power projects should be at par with its realistic capacity. These power projects are against the interests of the Sikkimese people, he said.

"The capacity of several power projects has been enhanced doubled or trebled beyond its original capacity in order to attract the attention of the financial institutions for taking huge loans,"said Bhandari. He said that the state government is standing a guarantor for the private developers who are taking big loans.

Sikkim government has 26 percent equity in eight power projects which is being developed as joint ventures between the state and private developers.

There will be huge financial crises in the state and if any of these power projects becomes scarp then the Sikkimese people will be under huge debt, said Anjan Upadhyaya, state committee member of CPIM.

"Chief Minister Pawan Chamling will be responsible if any of the power project abandons after taking huge loans making Sikkim a debt ridden state," he said.

The opposition parties said that 13 mini hydel power projects under the state government are in dilapidated condition with eight of them already non-functional leading to an annual loss of Rs 100 crores in revenue.

UNI BG BA/src1131

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