OPTCL- An Institution of Secrecy with huge Corruption for benefit of corporate house and bureaucrats
(Exposed under RTI)
After receipt of information under RTI on 11.7.17, a team of RTI Activists had filed complaint dated 24.7.17 to Chief Secretary, Govt. of Odisha seeking vigilance inquiry into huge corruption and irregularities in the matter of selection of Final Bidder M/s High Tech Systems & Services for supply of “12 nos. new design ERS Towers suitable for 400kv transmission line network of OPTCL as per Tender (No. Sr. G.M.-CPC-ICB-ERS-24/2015) for ERS (Emergency Restoration Service) suitable for 400KV Transmission line Network for OPTCL. Because this Company has been selected without following due tender procedure. I had also appraised Chief Secretary that this corruption is masterminded by Hemant Shamra, IAS, CMD of OPTCL and to stop release of money to the said Company.
But the Chief Secretary did not take any steps to stop release of money. In the meantime, on 18.7.17, OPTCL hurriedly released money amounting Rs. 5,09,77,869.00 ( 80% of total fund Rs. 6,90,24,822.00 sanctioned ) to M/s Hitech Systems and Services Ltd., Kolkatta, a channel partner of Tower Solutions, Canada, the manufacturing Company Tower Solutions, Canada without any testing of materials.
Then, I field RTI Application for inspection of materials supplied by the Company. My application was kept pending for 4 months without any response and I was not allowed for inspection. When I filed first appeal dt. 26.10.17, the PIO immediately sent me a letter for inspection of materials. However, On 15.11.17, I was allowed for inspection of ERS materials in presence of store keepers of stores of OPTCL located at Mancheswar, Bhubaneswar. After reaching on the spot, I met General Manager, Stores Division and store-keepers to show the materials and asked them to explain technicalities of materials. They expressed their helplessness to explain me details, as they do not have idea about this technology. On query about who are the technical persons of OPTCL having knowledge about this technology, they replied that no such technical person is available in OPTCL. I got astonished why OPTCL purchased these ERS materials, when it does not have expertise to handle it. During inspection, I also observed that the materials supplied do not belong to that company which was awarded final bidder. The Tower Solutions is not at all Manufacturer Company. The material has been mobilised from different companies of other countries like Brazil and China. When I wanted to take photograph of the materials, I was not allowed to take it. The General Manager advised me to file another RTI to get the photograph of materials.
Then, on 16.11.17, I submitted RTI Application to the PIO of OPTCL for further inspection of materials and seeking photograph of the said materials. Besides that , I also wanted to know the following information from OPTCL.
iv. Provide name of the technical expert who has inspected the materials of Tower Solutions, Canada before it is being supplied to OPTCL in 2017.
v. Provide name of officers or experts who have tested quality of ERS tower materials delivered to OPTCL by Tower solutions, Canada
vi. Provide name of officers or technical experts who are having expertise to handle and fix ERS materials supplied by Tower solutions, Canada.
viii. Provide name of the technical experts of OPTCL having knowledge and expertise about use of ERS suitable for 400KV Transmission line Network.
On 15.12.17, the PIO has denied to provide me opportunity to take photograph of the materials while giving his consent for inspection. Now it is clear that as all ERS materials are fake and low grade and now product of Tower Solutions, the OPTCL officials are not allowing to take photograph of materials. There is huge transaction of kickbacks among top officials of OPTCL to finalise tender in favour of Tower Solutions. The documents provided by Tower Solutions are fake and forged which I had demanded for inquiry.
Regarding technicalities of ERS materials, I had sought the information about name of technical experts who inspected the materials before it was shipped or dispatch, officers who have inspected materials at OPTCL site after it is delivered etc. As per Inspection clause of Purchase order no. 953-000310 dt. 22.6.2016, the following terms and conditions has been cited.
“ The materials covered by the Purchase Order are subject to inspection and testing anytime prior to shipment and / or dispatch and /to final inspection within a reasonable time after arrival at site. Inspectors shall have right to carry out inspection and testing which will include the raw materials at manufacturer’s shop and at the time of actual dispatch before and after completion of packing.”
On 15.12.17, the PIO has provided the information no technical inspector has undertaken any inspection of materials at Manufacturer’s site and prior to shipment. Even OPTCL does not have expertise nor any technical person to handle ERS technology. Now the question comes how and why OPTCL hurriedly purchased ERS Tower for 400KV line without technical inspection. As there was huge deal of money and kickbacks by top officials in Govt. of Odisha, the officials of OPTCL has arbitrarily and illegally given this order to a Private foreign company for the purchase of materials. The Top officials have taken huge money as bribe to award this tender.
This is how top IAS officers are looting Odisha and State exchequer.