Probe demanded into Himachal hydropower project contract

October 9th, 2009 - 6:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Shimla, Oct 9 (IANS) Former Himachal Pradesh minister and Congress rebel Vijai Singh Mankotia Friday demanded a judicial probe into how a multi-million dollar hydropower project was contracted to Dutch firm Brakel.
The Himachal Pradesh High Court Oct 7 cancelled the allotment of the project to Brakel on the petition filed by Reliance Infrastructure Ltd.

“I demand a judicial inquiry into the allotment of the hydropower project to Brakel. Both the governments, previous and present, have compromised the conditions to favour the company. They are in a dock,” Mankotia told reporters here.

The project was allotted to Brakel by the previous Congress government through global bidding in December 2006. At that time, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - then in the opposition - had petitioned the governor that a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe be instituted into the contract.

But when it came to power in December 2007, the BJP allowed Brakel to set up the 960-MW Thopan-Powari-Jangi hydropower project in Kinnaur district.

“Now after the judgment of the high court, neither of these (governments) can escape responsibility. Politicians and senior government officials have been involved in this scandal… massive kickbacks and commissions have been paid to leaders of both the previous and the present governments,” Mankotia said.

“The government must constitute a commission, headed by a sitting high court judge, to enquire into these allegations. Even the high court has noted in its judgment that the company has doubtful origin and got the project sanctioned by misrepresenting facts,” Mankotia said.

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