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Raid at power station

A nine member CBI team from Dhanbad, accompanied by officers of the vigilance wing of Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and a coal surveyor on Wednesday raided a coal stockyard of Bokaro Thermal Power Station (BTPS).

During the raid, the officers apparently detected several discrepancies, which pointed to a bigger scam, which could run into several crores of rupees.

The raid started at 8am and continued till 4pm. The raiding officers detected huge differences in actual coal stocks and records maintained in the logbook. Also the coal was found to be of very poor quality, though DVC had paid for superior quality.

The raid followed several complaints lodged with the CBI in Dhanbad as well as the DVC headquarters in Calcutta. The decision to raid the yard was taken on Monday.

According to a CBI officer who did not wish to be identified, while the logbook showed stocks to the tune of 1.64 lakh tonnes of coal at the yard, a verification on the spot revealed only about 38,000 tonnes. Each tonne of coal sells between Rs 5,000 and Rs 7,000, depending on quality.

The investigating officers also came across some people who were engaged in separating superior quality coal from stone coal. Better quality coal ensures better power production. In fact, it appeared that a private agency had been hired to carry out the segregation.

Notably, the DVC-run power plant had suffered generation losses in recent months due to supply of poor quality coal despite DVC paying for superior quality.

Confirming the raid at BTPS, Dhanbad CBI SP P.K Manjhi said a joint team of CBI and vigilance officials had conducted the raid and discrepancies had been detected.

“Further details are awaited, which will reach our office late this evening,” he said.

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