GUWAHATI, Nov 22 � The Association of Engineers of the Assam State Electricity Board has opposed the bid of the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) to emerge as the implementing agency of the World Bank-funded Rs 5114.54-crore NER Power System Improvement Project (NERPSIP) being implemented in the six North Eastern States of Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the association said Assam�s portion of the project consists of construction of 16 33/11kV substations, construction of 33kV line bays, construction of 399 circuit kilometre of 33 kV overhead line and construction of 80 circuit kilometre of 33 kV underground cables in various parts of the State. These works fall under the jurisdiction of the Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) as per the legal provisions.
Initially, the Ministry of Power appointed the PGCIL the Project Management Consultant (PMC) for implementing the project. Accordingly, an agreement was signed between the APDCL and the PGCIL on June 7, 2013.
As per the agreement, the PMC�s role is to provide consultancy services only, which include, among others, preparation of plans, policy and procedures, etc., on environmental and social issues, preparation of procurement plan, project implementation plan and notice inviting tender.
All major activities, like approval of the bidding documents, issuance of notice inviting tender, bid opening, placement of work order and contract agreement, substation site selection, land acquisition and right of way clearances, final acceptance of drawings, test reports, payment to contractor, etc., are the implementing agency APDCL�s responsibility.
However, following a meeting held on August 6, 2014, by the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC), Union Ministry of Finance, the PGCIL launched a drive to become the project implementing agency.
The meeting stated, among others, that the PGCIL will be the �Design-cum-Implementation Supervision Consultant� and funds will be released to it for project implementation. It will sign MoUs with State governments for formation of a joint team for implementation of the project.
Subsequent to the above meeting, the PGCIL has forwarded a draft MOU to APDCL, where the PGCIL is named the Central Implementing Agency.
Electricity distribution is a State subject and satisfied with the performance of the APDCL in implementing, the $ 50-million ADB-funded �Assam Power Sector Enhancement Investment Programme,� the ADB has sanctioned another loan of $ 50 million to APDCL for further extension of the distribution network in the State.
On the other hand, PGCIL handed over many Rajiv Gandhi Gramya Vidyutikaran Yojana projects of APDCL (especially in the Barak Valley Regions) forcefully to the APDCL without proper completion and with many drawbacks still existing, said the association.