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The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of MeECL suppliers and contractors, on Wednesday, urged Power Minister James P.K. Sangma to give preference to locals regarding the execution of work for various projects and schemes in the state.
“We have urged the Power Minister to revisit the policies and programmes on future projects and schemes where preference would be given to the local contractors and suppliers,” JAC chairman H. Rumnong told reporters.
Referring to the turnkey projects of the MeECL, Rumnong said that there had been a recent trend to plan the project on a turnkey basis.
“The turnkey project is the concept where a particular package of work is clubbed together and awarded to one company. The company sources out the materials from the same manufacturer and distributors which the local suppliers and contractors used to buy, but they sublet the contract to the local contractors. Therefore, the big companies who are awarded the contract are enjoying at the behest of the local contractors,” Rumnong said.
“The Saubhagya scheme is a very important project where the local people can execute the work by themselves. Approximately 24 per cent of the work under the Saubhagya scheme was initially carried out by the department through local suppliers and contractors. At that point of time, when contracts to implement the Saubhagya scheme were awarded to big companies, we had thought there would be the induction of machines so that the work will be fast, but this did not take place,” he said.
Rumnong also stated that they have raised the issue regarding the cancellation of the work order on the augmentation of the 32 KV Mawlai sub-station.
“The work order on the augmentation of the 32 KV Mawlai sub-station was issued in August and October 2019. After a gap of six months, the work order was cancelled on March 3, 2020. The work which has been supplied and executed on the ground is Rs 2.46 crore. It is unfortunate and arbitrary (that) the Board of Directors of the MeECL took action without going into the details. It is highly illegal,” he said.
The JAC chairman, however, said that the Power Minister assured he would take up the issue.
(Edited by Christopher Gatphoh & Andre Kongri)