Vivek Avasthi Noida. The top brass of the REC is baffled as it seems to be a curious case of comedy of errors at the Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited, MVVNL, a discom of Uttar Pradesh. Shamim Ahmed, the Managing Director of the discom who had terminated the contracts and blacklisted two firms, is now pleading with the Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) to reconsider the blacklisting of the firms.
The top brass of the REC does not know what to do and has told the concerned discom that the decision of blacklisting was not theirs and so how can REC jump into the matter now. highly placed sources in the REC say that it is indeed strange that MD Shamim Ahmed, who himself blacklisted the firms, is now asking them to withdraw the blacklisting.
Shamim Ahmed, who is due to retire next month, seems to be too jittery. Sources said that it was the fear of a CBI probe, that he in a sudden knee-jerk reaction, had blacklisted NKG Infrastructure Limited, a company close to tainted and now jailed engineer Yadav Singh. And now, for reasons known best to Shamim Ahmed, he is now writing to the REC asking for reconsideration of the decision.
The blacklisting had raised many an eye brows in the state and the centre. NKG Infrastructure in a joint venture with Modern Instruments Private Limited, had been given the contracts of rural electrification contracts under the RGGVY scheme of Bahraich district for Rs. 155 crore and of Hardoi District for Rs. 120 crore.
The reasons being mentioned in the letter from Shamim Ahmed to the CMD of REC are also quite strange -
1. Instead of termination of contract, the tender should be "short closed" and where work has been completed by M/s NKG Infrastructure and M/s Modern Instruments, should be taken into consideration.
2.�The firms should be allowed to complete work 100 and 130 places in the two districts where work is already in progress. An undertaking should be taken from the firms that they will complete this work in three months.
3.�The Contract Performance Guarantee (CPG) of bank guarantee provided by the firms should not be encashed but be kept by the discom for a period of 27 months.
4. Fresh tenders be invited for the remaining work of the two districts
5.�Blacklisting of the firms should be cancelled
MD Shamim Ahmed has asked the CMD of the REC to give permission to MVVNL for all the five fresh conditions spelt out by him. But the top management of the REC is in a fix. Sources say that technically, once the tenders were terminated and the firms were blacklisted by the discom itself, how can the REC take any decision on this now !
Earlier, In a sudden turn of events, the top brass of the MVVNL decided to blacklist this company. In an order sheet signed by none other than the MVVNL Managing Director, Shamim Ahmed on April 16, last, the two companies were blacklisted and debarred by the discom.
The order said that the two JV partner firms "could not fulfill the terms and conditions of contract agreement/purchase orders with you and negligence in execution of work delay in implementation of scheme resulting in depriving of benefits of scheme to consumers of the project area, the contract agreement with you against the above mentioned Tender Specifications were terminated on dated 01.04.2016. Hence, you are hereby Blacklisted/debarred from business in Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited, Lucknow for further Two years from the date of issue of this letter." NKG Infrastructure had shot into limelight with the arrest of tainted Noida Engineer Yadav Singh. The CBI on March 15, had filed the first charge sheet against suspended Noida Chief Engineer Yadav Singh, his wife and 12 others, including three companies, in a case of alleged corruption in handing out lucrative projects worth crores of rupees.
In the chargesheet, the agency had named Yadav Singh, his wife Kusumlata, engineers Ramendra Singh, Devi Ram Arya and Jaipal Singh, Tirupati Constructions and its managing partner V K Goel, JSP Construction and its partner Pankaj Jain, NKG Infrastructure and its managing director Pradeep Kumar Garg. Yadav Singh was arrested on February 3, 2016.
(Vivek Avasthi is a Noida based Senior Journalist)