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Rajasthan suspends four officials for irregularities in solar power production

According to reports, the  state government of Rajasthan on Friday evening suspended four officials including two executive engineers for issuing certificates of production of  solar energy even before the work started at the palnts in  Pokhran sub-division in Jaisalmer.

As per the information, seven out of 10 5MW each solar energy products of Nelco Group in Askandra area of Jaisalmer were to be completed by January 9. In the beginning of January, the commissioning certificate was issued for completing the work of plants, which also showed power generation.

Nelco had deposited a bank guarantee of Rs 85 crore and as per the agreement, these projects were to be completed by January 8. If the work is not completed by January 8, 20% of the guarantee money was to be forfeited for the delay between January 9 and February 9. For further delay between February 9 and March 9, the guarantee money was to be forfeited along with imposing 40% penalty. In case of non-completion of work by March 10, the entire money was to be forfeited. There is a condition in the agreement that after March 10, whatever is the delay, a penalty of Rs 1 lakh per MW per day was payable.

As Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Limited (RRECL) is monitoring these projects, the officers in the first week of January issued a commissioning certificate for these solar projects.

Later on getting complaints on these cases, the state government handed over the case to Rajasthan Discom Power Procurement Cell (RDPPC) for investigation. The cell had received complaints of 20 solar energy companies out of which  Jodhpur discom chief engineer N M Chauhan was given investigation of 10 companies, whereas investigation of remaining 10 companies was handed over to  Ajmer discom chief engineer (commercial) BR Choudhary. Jodhpur discom chief engineer submitted his report to  energy secretary  Naresh Pal Gangwar on Wednesday.

Jodhpur discom secretary  Aslam Mehan confirmed that complaints of irregularities were received over setting up of solar projects in Pokhran. After the investigation, it was found that officers had given wrong information to the government and many irregularities were found. On Friday evening, the government suspended four officers including officiating  executive engineer NK Brar and executive engineer  Lalit Soni. The other two officers who have been suspended include project incharge  Dinesh Kumar Changani and Pokhran-based Prasaran Nigam  assistant engineer M L Ojha.

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