Under Opposition fire after his name and that of his cousin figured in a report of the Chief Vigilance Officer of the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) that alleged corruption in the construction of two dams for the Kameng Hydro Electric Project in Arunachal Pradesh, Minister of State (Home) Kiren Rijiju Wednesday said “it is wrong to suggest that it is a scam”.
Rijiju, however, told reporters it was wrong on the part of Goboi Rijiju — the subcontractor who is a cousin — to use his name and refer to him as Bhaiya. “It was wrong on his part to drop my name but it is not a criminal act. I am not contemplating any legal action against him,” he said.
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“It is wrong to suggest that it is a scam and is worth Rs 450 crores. The total cost of the project is Rs 450 crore, it started in 2004 and most of the payments were made before 2014. When I wrote a letter on the representation received, more than 60 per cent of the money had been released already,” he said.
On the role of IPS officer Satish Verma, Rijiju said his conduct has been brought out by the statement issued by the Ministry of Power where it is mentioned that Verma was appointed as CVO to NEEPCO on October 8, 2014 and transferred on July 4, 2016 to CRPF.
Rijiju read out the statement to say Verma was chargesheeted on May 9, 2016 for “not performing his duties” and for staying away from the NEEPCO headquarters in Shillong for 310 days out of his 18-month tenure “without intimating the authorities or submitting any tour reports”.
“After being relieved of his duties on July 5, 2016, he sent 10 back-dated reports to the Ministry of Power which were received between July 18, 2016 to July 25, 2016,” Rijiju said, adding that Verma also retained some official files in his personal custody and did not hand them over at the time of relinquishing his charge.
In its statement, the Ministry of Power said Verma, who alleged corruption in the construction of two dams for NEEPCO’s 600 MW Kameng Hydro Electric Project, had authorised as much as 60 per cent of the payment due to Patel Engineering Limited, much before the letter of Rijiju.