Opposition seeks Governor's probe in mega power projects

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Gangtok, Apr 2 (UNI) The Opposition in Sikkim today demanded Governor Sudarshan Agarwal to probe into the 26 hydro power projects allocated to private and public sectors by the state government.

The 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 Opposition parties -Congress, BJP and CPI (M) had 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 also 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. The state government was standing a guarantor for the private developers who were taking big loans, he added.

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

There would be huge financial crises in the state and if any of these power projects became scarp then the Sikkimese people would be under huge debt, said Anjan Upadhyaya, state committee member of CPI(M).

''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 13 mini hydel power projects under the state government were in dilapidated condition with eight of them already non-functional leading to an annual loss of Rs 100 crore in revenue.

UNI BG BA SW DS1232

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