The Government of Telangana has been cancelled the installation tenders for of solar pump sets to energies agricultural connections up to 500 MW after detecting irregularities in the selection of the lowest bidder.

68 solar panel manufacturing companies had participated in the tendering by Non Conventional Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NEDCAP) last month, of which 47 financial bids were declared eligible.

Sources said one company quoted the rate of Rs. 4.90 lakh for pump sets of 5 horse power (HP) each, which was the lowest price (L1) in the category. It also quoted Rs. 3.20 lakh for pump sets of 3 HP each, again the lowest in the category.

The NEDCAP asked the remaining 46 companies to indicate their willingness to provide the pump sets at these rates by November 22, but none of them came forward.

The reason for the companies not expressing their willingness, sources said, was that the market price of solar pump sets was much lower than the L1 rate. They were Rs. 3.10 lakh for 5 HP pump sets and Rs. 1.40 lakh for 3 HP.

Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, who installed pump sets in his fields in Nizamabad, learnt about the tendering and informed Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao that the quoted amount was too high. Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma was asked to cancel the tenders and to also take action against officials who were found guilty of corrupt and illegal practices in the tendering process, according to a release from the Chief Minister’s office.

Mr. Rao also ordered for constitution of a committee headed by Special Chief Secretary, Industries, K. Pradeep Chandra, to inquire into the matter. Principal Secretaries V. Nagi Reddy (Finance), S.K. Joshi (Irrigation) and Poonam Malakondaiah (Agriculture) are the members.

The government had conceived an ambitious plan to install solar pump sets in agricultural fields with huge subsidies. The Central component of subsidy for 5 HP pump sets is Rs. 1.43 lakh and the State government share Rs. 1 lakh, adding up to Rs. 2.43 lakh.

The Central subsidy on 3 HP pump sets is Rs. 86,000 and that of State government is Rs. 1 lakh, which adds up to Rs. 1.96 lakh. The remaining amount has to be borne by individual farmers.

INFLATED COSTS

The government conceives an ambitious plan to install solar pump sets in agricultural fields with huge subsidies

Sixty-eight solar panel manufacturing companies participate in the tendering, of which NEDCAP declares 47 bids as eligible

Lowest rate of Rs. 4.90 lakh and Rs. 3.20 lakh quoted for pump sets of 5 HP and 3 HP each respectively by one company

Agriculture Minister, who installed pump sets in his fields, informs Chief Minister that the quoted amount is too high

Chief Minister calls for cancellation of the tenders and constitutes a committee to inquire into the matter
Source:TheHindu