Himachal Pradesh gives one more opportunity to Brakel

November 11th, 2008 - 11:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Nov 11 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh government has decided to give one more chance to a Dutch firm to rectify the alleged financial and technical misrepresentation of a hydropower project awarded to the company in 2006.The final decision regarding the cancellation of the hydropower project, mired by allegations of financial and technical incompetence ever since it was awarded to Dutch company Brakel Corp, will take some more time, according to official sources.

“The government has decided to hear once again Brakel’s view point regarding its clarification on the allegations,” the sources told IANS Tuesday.

The state cabinet Nov 3 set up a three-member committee headed by chief secretary Asha Swaroop to review the case.

According to the sources, executives of the company will appear before the committee Nov 15 to reply on various issues raised in the two show-cause notices issued by the present Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government to Brakel asking why the company’s bid should not be scrapped.

The Rs.40-billion ($870 million) Thopan-Powari-Jangi hydropower project in Kinnaur district was allotted to Brakel in 2006 by the then Congress government.

Executives of the Dutch hydropower major met principal power secretary Ajay Mittal last month to emphasise Brakel was capable of completing the project within the time frame.

The sources said Mittal had already proposed cancellation of the allotment to the company on the grounds that it had misrepresented its technical and financial strengths.

However, the government is yet to sign a pre-implementation agreement, which is mandatory before beginning work on a project.

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