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Posted at: Jan 11, 2019, 8:03 AM; last updated: Jan 11, 2019, 8:05 AM (IST)

‘Missing’ copper bars: NHPC probe panel submits report

kuldeep chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, January 10

A five-member inquiry team of the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) has unearthed a scam worth Rs 1.12 crore in connection with “missing 53 copper stator bars in the Parbati stage-III project”. The inquiry report completed on December 15, 2018 has been submitted to the CMD, NHPC for action, sources revealed.

The NHPC conducted the inquiry as it was for the second time that the stator copper bars were found missing from the Parbati-III project. A nexus between certain managers and private contractors can’t be ruled out, revealed NHPC insiders.

According to the five-member inquiry report, which is in the possession of The Tribune, there was no concrete evidence that 53 stator copper bars ever reached the store of the Parbati-III power house as claimed by the Parbati-III project managers. The NHPC had commissioned the 520 MW Parbati-III project in 2016.

Earlier also, as many as 66 stator copper bars worth Rs 1.5 crore were found missing in the same project in a similar fashion and insurance was claimed for the same, revealed NHPC managers.

The NHPC constituted an inquiry on October 29 after senior manager (technical) Suraj Dhiman lodged an FIR with police post, Sainj, under Banjar police station on October 28, 2018 stating that 53 stator copper bars worth Rs 1.12 crore were found missing from the power house store.

The inquiry report, however, found that the copper bars were shown to have entered the power house “without checking and verification from the Central store”. There was no demand for these bars from the power house at that time, the report said.

It is mandatory that all material and goods procured for the projects from any outside agency have to be kept under the charge of the central store of the project. After this, it is entered into stock ledger, but this procedure was not followed in the case of 53 stator copper bars, the report said.

The inquiry found that the 53 stators copper bars were shown to be procured from BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd), Bhopal, on August 22, 2016. But it was ironical that the verification order of the bars was issued one year in advance on September 3, 2015, the report revealed.

Moreover, nobody verified and checked the stator bars which were claimed to be kept in the GIS store between August 22, 2016 and 27 October, 2018, inquiry found. “Three CCTV cameras are installed in this store, but both DGM (M) power house, and DGM (E &C) - IT could not show us the footage”, the signed inquiry report stated in its findings.

The inquiry team headed by J R Meena, DGM (NHPC), recorded statements of 16 staff members of the Parbati-stage-III project.

SP, Kullu, Shalini Agnihotri said they had sought records of the movement of stator bars from the BHEL inventory, Bhopal.

“We are checking all documents, entry register and all previous records to investigate the case”, she added.

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