Himachal Pradesh electricity board chairman removed

August 29th, 2008 - 11:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Aug 29 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh government Friday removed Ajay Mittal as the chairman of the state electricity board, a senior government official said.Mittal was in the thick of controversy over allotting a contract to four companies - Pheonix, Surya Bulbs, Asian Electronics and Havells - for purchase of 7.2 million compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).

Under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Bijli Bachao Yojna, four CFL lights are to be supplied free of cost to 1.65 million families in the state.

“Mittal’s dismissal is being seen as a move by the government to save its skin,” a senior bureaucrat admitted, requesting anonymity.

Some companies like Philips and HPL Somonec, whose bids were rejected, had complained to the government about the specifications and criteria adopted for the grant of contracts.

They alleged irregularities in allotments the contracts.

The electricity board had distributed equally the supply order among the four companies that had quoted the same rate of Rs.429 for each of the CFL to be supplied to the government.

“The fact that four companies quoted the same price clearly indicated that they had formed a cartel and quoted a pooled rate,” pointed out the sources.

Ravinder Kumar Jain has been appointed as chairman of the state electricity board.

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