The hydel thrust of the State Government had always been mired in controversy with the opposition parties claiming that some of the private developers may put the State exchequer in trouble as the State Government stands as the guarantor for the loans taken up by some of these companies.
And the fears have come true in one instance for the moment.
The Sikkim Power Development Corporation (SPDC) has stated in a RTI filed by local citizen Primula Bhandari that the SPDC has been paying interests of Rs. 38.45 crores against a bond of Rs. 50.10 crores till date.
“The total interest against the Bond of Rs. 50.10 crores paid by SPDC as on 31.3.2009 is Rs. 38,45,43,219.00”, said SPDC in reply on RTI query pertaining to allotment of hydropower projects to Amalgamated Transpower India Limited (ATPIL).
The tender for the hydel power project of 110 MW had been received by one P Das who then took a loan of Rs. 50.10 crores from a national bank with the State Government as the guarantor, said Ms Bhandari is a press meet today here in Gangtok.
After taking the money, Das simply disappeared and the State Government through SPDC is making payments on interests of the loan taken, said Ms Bhandari.
Claming that she has more startling revelations to make on the gotalas committed by the State Government, Ms Bhandari said that she will disclosing the RTI documents in a serialized manner once she gets the full details.
“I have collected details through RTI Act on the implementation of Central projects in Sikkim like the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Project amounting to Rs. 14890.99 lakhs and APDRP Phase III amounting to Rs. 585.25 lakhs,” said Ms Bhandari.
The SPDC paying interests fact is just a tip of the ice-berg, said Ms Bhandari.
Apart from the SPDC trailer, Ms Bhandari also said that she has RTI documents on how the Gangtok beautification project was aborted halfway and the project was then handed to a local contractor.
The Gangtok beautification project had been awarded to a construction firm in Bangalore through tender process but without any justifiable reason, the project was stopped at midpoint and then handed to a contactor based in Singtam without any tender notice, claimed Ms Bhandari.
Another point raised by Ms Bhandari on the high rates charged by the State Government on tender forms. A tender form out here costs as much as Rs. 3000 to Rs. 4000 but as per www.tendernews.com there are as many as fifty active tender notices for Sikkim where a tender form cost only Rs. 1000 and this benefit can be easily taken by outside contractors, she said.
Why this discrimination to the local contractors and none of the tender notices published by the website has been published in local newspapers of Sikkim, said Ms Bhandari.
Ms Bhandari said that she is presently under pressure from various quarters not to disclose the RTI dossier. “Plots have or being hatched to destabilize me from my fact finding mission,” she said adding that she has already submitted a general dairy with Ranipool police expressing fears for her life.
“In order to cow me down, the PHE department has been used to bulldoze a road over my private land in 6th Mile,” said Ms Bhandari. She also claimed that she is being unnecessarily dragged into mischievous political slander with her father NB Bhandari because of her documentation.
“I am not speaking as a daughter of Nar Bahadur Bhandari but speaking as an educated unemployed youth of Sikkim and I am sure that it is not the Congress workers who are doing the defamation game against my father and also dragging me along,” said Ms Bhandari. She pointed out that she has been staying put in Soreng in West Sikkim working for the people there despite the election debacle of the Congress.
“I have opened up a computer training institute and a library in Soreng for the locals,” said Ms Bhandari adding that she was contended with her life there.
But with such slander campaign and unnecessary threat has provoked me to come out in the open regardless of the consequences, said Ms Bhandari adding that she has now embraced active politics. She appealed the youth to come out in open if they want a change instead of just hiding behind email statements.
source: Sikkim Express