Indian-Chinese consortium drags TN to court for scrapping tender
Amidst the ongoing power crisis in Tamil Nadu and major allegations of corruption in the state’s power sector, an Indian-Chinese consortium (CSEPDI-TRISHE) of thermal power plant builders has moved the Madras High Court questioning the abrupt cancellation of tender for Rs 8,400-crore Udangudi plant by the AIADMK government.
The consortium, which has Central Southern China Electric Power Design Institute as the lead partner, said that they were not informed about the cancellation of the tender and claimed that the abrupt scrapping was illegal and done in a secret manner.
The court allowed the petition after the state government confirmed that Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd (TANGEDCO) has cancelled the tender. Stating that there was nothing illegal in the cancellation, the government also told the court that TANGEDCO need not give any reasons to the consortium for rejection and needs to send the reasoning to the Tender Bulletin Officer.
N L Rajah, the counsel of the consortium, said his client’s bid was Rs 137 crore less than the second-lowest bidder. “Now, that our petition has been allowed, we will challenge the government’s decision,” he said.
This is the second case in which the consortium has dragged the state government to the court. Last July, it filed a writ petition in the High Court against the non-allotment of tenders for the Rs 9,207-crore thermal power project at Ennore despite being the lowest bidder.
A senior TANGEDCO official said the second litigation by the consortium might put the state in serious trouble as the verdict in the previous Ennore case is not yet out and it is likely to be negative. “Now, the government is trying to justify the decision to scrap the tender quoting a consultant report that pointed out some discrepancies in the price quotes. But the long time gap they took to evaluate the price bids has already raised suspicions,” the official added.
The cancellation of the latest tender started a controversy last week with the opposition DMK demanding an “independent probe” into the matter.
After the joint venture between TNEB and Bhel was scrapped in 2012, a new tender was floated and the bids were finally opened in November 2014. “Why was the tender process delayed so long, and has now been cancelled?” asked DMK chief M Karunanidhi.
Source:: Indian Express