Friday, 3 June 2016, 11:45:17 am

OCPL in doldrums due to corrupt officials

---Fund wastage, managerial inadequacies blamed

--Vigilance probe demanded


BHUBANESWAR: Even though it was formed with a 76-per cent Government share to supply coal to the Odisha Power Generation Company (OPGC) five years back, delay in projects, the undue favour shown to the executing agencies and contractors by some unscrupulous officers of Odisha Coal and Power Limited (OCPL) has led to apprehensions that company might turn sick soon and might be winded up. The company’s project cost of Rs 2,143 crore seems to have gone down the drain.

Take for example the coal handling plant in Hemgiri of Manhorpur coal mines of Sundargarh district. Having a contract value of Rs 514 crore without GST, the project work was awarded to  MacNally Bharat India Private Limited. The duration for completion of the project was three years (2017-2020) but it’s about 4 years, till now 70% of the project is completed.Every year the company going on extending the duration whereas the job is not completed. Due to non-completion of the EPC project the company borrow loans from the bank which has incurred high interest. It is alleged that some senior officers are taking bribe directly from the contractor and keep delaying the project.

Besides, sources said that one of the many reasons for the OCPL failing to achieve the goals is operational and managerial inadequacies and inefficiencies leading to huge wastages and leakages of funds in their day-to-day activities.The powers are concentrated in the hands of a few top officials, who have been virtually running the corporation according to their whims and fancies. Though a new CEO has been given charge of the corporation, the Additional General Manager (Commercial and Corporate Affairs) and Additional General Manager (Mining and Technical   Coordination) are holding more than 22 responsibilities. These aforesaid officials are allegedly feeding information and advice to the new CEO to suit their vested interests.  This is proving detrimental to the interests of the OCPL.

Sources further said that Rs 143 crore has been spent for a residential colony for 130 OCPL employees at Jharsuguda. But the colony is yet to be completed and the staffs are yet to use it. This has added substantially to the project cost. While OSPL has been granted permission by the Department of Steel and Mines to remove fire clay from the Manoharpur Coal block, there is no record of how much quantity of minerals have been raised from the mine and how much has been sold.

Besides, it is alleged that an EPC contract has been awarded to a firm MBECL for the entire construction of CHP which also includes the construction of Receiving Pit with Ramp filled with OB materials. Some officials had prepared such a contract that the OCPL is going to pay near about 1.6 crore to MBECL towards the ramp preparation. In which such officials of OCPL would get a large kickback.

 For this ramp preparation near about 2 lakh Cum OB (Overburden) materials are required for filling, which can be adjusted from the Mine Operator (MO), but the OCPL is paying near about Rs.120 for each Cum. filling and compacting out of which Rs 16 to Rs 18 is towards compaction charge.As the Mine Operator (MO) is removing OB and hard materials from mine which is 1km avg. lead from the site of work and MO can be instructed to dump the OB materials at this site with dozing. But corrupt officials have other motives and prepare such types of contracts for their personal benefits.

Also even the specifications of materials to be used in both CHP and Mine colony are being changed without approval from competent authority. Even civil persons are using degraded  and low quality materials in construction colluding with contractors for their extra income.Therefore, a high-level probe by the Vigilance Directorate should be carried out about the scope of work of different contracts of OCPL such as CHP contract, construction of Mine Colony, electric contract and various other deals and activities of the corrupt officials to save the company from sinking.