Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 28
After a Haryana Assembly Committee on Public Undertakings (COPU) threatened to move privilege motion against two IAS officers over giving “misleading” information, one IAS expressed “regret” and another “apologised”.
The issue pertained to a complaint against installing old transformers in a new 66KVA substation at village Taprian in Panchkula district.
When the members of COPU visited Taprian village on September 30, 2020, then Managing Director (MD) Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Limited (HVPNL), Mohammed Shayin, told them that as per their “policy” old transformers were being used again if they were working to their capacity.
During proceedings before the COPU, dated October 12, 2020, which was chaired by Speaker Gian Chand Gupta himself, then Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Power TC Gupta told that as per a “policy” spare items were being used at places where there was lesser load instead of selling them in scrap.
The speaker told him to verify the facts before giving any statement before the committee and asked him to submit a copy of the “policy”. Shayin said they would place the copy before the COPU.
When no copy of the “policy” came, the COPU wrote to HVPNL on November 12, 2020, to submit it within seven days. However, on December 14, 2020, HVPNL wrote, “No specific policy for utilisation of spare 12.5/16MVA, 66/11KVT/Fs at new HVPNL substation is available on record. However, a policy for utilisation of spare transformers at new substations will be put up in next BoDs (Board of Directors) meeting at HVPNL.”
During a meeting on January 28 this year, Chairperson of COPU Aseem Goyal said a committee of the assembly was like a “mini house” and top officials of the power department gave wrong statements in the name of transformers policy when the speaker was himself chairing the meeting.
Member MLAs, Mohan Lal Badoli, Chiranjeevi Rao and Kuldeep Vats, called for sending the matter to privilege committee.
The matter was referred to the speaker for taking action. He called for a personal hearing of both the IAS officers.
On February 11, expressing “regret”, TC Gupta told the COPU that the situation had arisen due to inadvertent use of the word “policy” instead of “practice”.
“The word ‘policy’ was used by me on the briefing and written communications of the officers of HVPNL which was personally explained to your good self during the meeting. It is humbly submitted that a ‘practice’ repeatedly used may also be called a ‘policy’,” said his letter to speaker, dated February 11.
Shayin apologised, and in a letter dated February 22 to speaker, he said that the use of the word “policy” vis-à-vis “practice” was a common practice in HVPNL. He assured that attention would be paid to such “minute details”.
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