Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 13:
BJP leader Pratap Sarangi has demanded a CBI inquiry into the signing of a power purchase agreement (PPA) between the Odisha government and the Seashore group, which is already under investigation by the central agency in the chit fund scam, in 2012.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Sarangi said Gridco, the state government’s bulk power supplier, signed an agreement for purchase of solar power with Seashore Agricultural Promotion Pvt Ltd on July 13, 2012 in gross violation of all rules and norms.
“This agreement was signed despite the fact that Seashore failed to pay the bank guarantee of Rs 24 crores. The agreement was delayed by 4-5 months because of my consistent opposition to it in the meetings of the Assembly standing committee despite the fact that the then secretary took undue interest in pushing the deal through,” the former Nilagiri MLA said.
The agreement was cancelled on August 27, 2012, just 45 days after it was signed precisely on the ground of the company’s failure to pay the bank guarantee, he pointed out.
“Did the company derive any undue benefits by using the PPA during these 45 days? Who will compensate the Rs 24 crore loss that the state government suffered? Did money change hands for the signing of the PPA without the bank guarantee? Why was the special favour bestowed on Seashore without so much as talking about the bank guarantee with the 12 other companies that were in the fray?” Sarangi asked.
Maintaining that the role of the then secretary of the Science and Technology department, Director of OREDA and Gridco authorities was highly suspicious in the matter, the BJP leader called for a CBI inquiry into it.
The inquiry should probe whether the favour was granted to Seashore under pressure of ruling party leaders, Sarangi demanded stringent and exemplary action against those found guilty.