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NEEPCO anomalies: Former CVO leaves Shillong

NEW DELHI: All is not well with the Shillong based North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) as the Centre is keeping a close watch on several reports regarding alleged malpractices in the central public enterprise with those who are at the helm of affairs adopting a hush-hush approach.
Sources said on Sunday that ousted NEEPCO Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) Satish Verma reached here from Shillong on Sunday.
According to sources, as CVO of NEEPCO, Verma had unearthed several alleged anomalies and the probe reports in this regard have already been sent to authorities here.
Sources said some NEEPCO officials allegedly influenced the Union ministry of Power to secure the transfer of Verma as he was probing serious corruption charges against top NEEPCO functionaries.
According to sources, the Centre should institute an independent probe into the state of affairs in NEEPCO as the tenure of Verma as CVO was cut short by the handiwork of some vested interests who do not wish to cleanse the mess in NEEPCO.
The scope of probe by Verma included the Siang power project in Arunachal Pradesh. Despite the payment of Rs 100 crore, the project is yet to start as a result of which NEEPCO incurred heavy loss.
Alleged fake billing for boulders for the Kameng power project in the same state was another area. Only 75% of the project was completed.
Sources added that Verma had also submitted a report on how a particular official who was vying for the post of next CMD lodged complaints with the ministry of Power against AG W. Kharkongor, Director (Finance) NEEPCO, who was set to take over as the new CMD.
As per earlier media reports, it was in December last year that the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions had recommended Kharkongor’s name for the  post of CMD.
PESB had recommended Kharkongor’s name after an interview held in Delhi on December 28, 2015. Besides Kharkongor, S.B. Borgohain, Director (Personnel), NEEPCO had also appeared in the interview.
Earlier on July 1, after Verma as CVO lodged three FIRs against Chairman-cum-Managing Director P.C. Pankaj who retired on June 30, Director (Personnel) S.B. Borgohain, and Executive Director (Security) P.K. Jaiswal for allegedly extorting money from his sub-ordinate officer Abhishek Kumar, Manager (HR), and preventing the CVO from performing duties, NEEPCO had clarified that Verma was against the suspension order of Kumar and hence made false allegation.
Moreover, NEEPCO had said that after the order from the vigilance department, the office chamber of Kumar was unsealed.
Following this development, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved the proposal of Union Power ministry for curtailment of tenure of Verma who will now join as IG CRPF in Delhi after his service was placed at the disposal of Ministry of Home Affairs.
Though the tenure of Verma as CVO was for three years, he could serve not even two years with NEEPCO.
CMD reimburses over Rs 4.91 lakh
Earlier, the Director of Central Vigilance Commission Sanjay Agarwal had examined a letter of the Union ministry of Power regarding complaint against ex-CMD P.C. Pankaj on the recovery of excess rent claimed by Pankaj.
After examining the complaint, in a letter addressed to the CVO, the ministry of Power on April 13 this had said, “The case has been examined in the commission. It is submitted that reimbursement of 70 per cent may not be in order. Therefore, the Commission advises CVO, ministry of power to recover the same from Pankaj CMD”.
Sources pointed out that the CMD had claimed and availed house rent allowance of total Rs 4,91,400 for 39 months (Rs 12,600 per month) by stating that he was using only 30 per cent of the house allotted to him at Shillong Peak and the rest 70 per cent of the accommodation was used by someone else. Though he was entitled house rent allowance of Rs 18,000 per month, he had claimed an additional Rs 4,91,400.
However, the NEEPCO Terminal Benefit Settlement Cell on June 30 this year cleared the settlement of dues after adjusting Rs 4,91,400 to be reimbursed by Pankaj, days before the vigilance clearance from the Centre.
Curiously, the vigilance clearance from the Union ministry of Power came to Pankaj on July 11, 11 days after he had retired.

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