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State picks holes in power tender

Ranchi, July 18: The state today defended before Jharkhand High Court its “advice” to Jharkhand Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (JUVNL) to scrap the December 2012 distribution franchisee deal with private firms in Ranchi and Jamshedpur, calling its tender “incorrect” to wriggle its way out of the situation.

At the hearing of the case filed by CESC, picked to distribute power in Ranchi by the erstwhile Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB), state counsel Rajesh Shankar spoke about two deals inked in December 2012 with CESC and Tata Power for supply in the capital and Jamshedpur.

He said the state advised JUVNL to rescind the agreement as the process of tender before awarding the contract was incorrect, claiming the principles laid down by Central Vigilance Committee while inviting bids were not followed in letter and spirit. It rendered the process “illegal”, he said, arguing that any subsequent agreement based on it should be scrapped.

Shankar stressed that even if a deal had been inked and enforced with effect from December 2012, the two franchisees had done “no active work”.

The court of Justice R.R. Prasad has reserved its order for July 22.

CESC had filed the case when energy minister Rajendra Prasad Singh earlier this month directed his department to ask JUVNL to cancel the tender under which distribution jobs had been offloaded to private parties.