AIPEF against power privatisation


DW BUREAU / PATIALA The All-India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has alleged that the tendering process for privatisation of power distribution in Chandigarh is being stage-managed and orchestrated by Chandigarh Administration and should be scrapped. Shailendra Dubey, Chairman of the AIPEF, in a letter to the Prime Minister and others on Saturday mentioned that the sequence of events leaves no doubt that the tendering process was being stage-managed by the Chandigarh administration under the direction of the union power ministry. The UT Engineering Department had invited bids for the privatisation of the department on November 9. As many as 17 intended bidders, including Tata Power Company Limited, GMR Generation Asset Limited, and Adani Transmission Limited were issued requests for proposal (RFP) to take part in the privatisation process of the department. The AIPEF has alleged that in the case of privatisation of power distribution of Chandigarh the pre-bid conference was held on December 1 and on the same day the Punjab and Haryana High Court heard the petition of UT Power Men Union and issued a stay order. However, the minutes of the pre-bid meeting were not issued. The stay order was vacated by the Supreme Court on January 12 and the UT Administration resumed the sale of tender documents (RFP). The Empowered Committee of the UT Administration, in its meeting of January 19, decided to hold a second pre-bid conference on January 22 and a public notice was published on January 22. The corrigendum stipulates that advance submission of queries is mandatory, said the AIPEF. However, on the same day, the second pre-bid meeting was held at Chandigarh, and strangely a majority of bidders, who were from cities outside Chandigarh, were able to participate in the second pre-bid meeting at less than one day's notice. The AIPEF in its letter mentions that the entire exercise of en masse power sector privatization through SBDs needs to be scrapped as it is misplaced and unjustified. The Chandigarh incidents give sufficient ground to disband the high-level steering committee. Shailendra Dubey said that the Chandigarh episode is a proven case of gross bungling in multi-crore tender and called upon the union government to scrap the privatisation exercise in totality. (


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