The state electricity department, on Tuesday, denied of having any ‘direct link’ with Pooja Industries, a Margao-based company.
Chief Electrical Engineer Reshma Mathew informed that the electrical materials are procured by the department through the Goa Handicrafts, Rural and Small Scale Industries Development Corporation Ltd (GHRSSIDC) as per the agreement between the two government agencies.
Addressing a press conference in Panaji, president of ‘Rising Goans’ Shailendra Velingkar, on Tuesday, alleged that the department procured ‘substandard’ electrical materials without following the due tendering process from the said company which is owned by Joseph Mathew who happens to be the husband of Chief Electrical Engineer Reshma Mathew.
Rubbishing the claim of Velingkar, the Chief Electrical Engineer said, “Pooja industries is not there in bidders’ list nor they have purchased the tender documents. If any individuals are leveling allegation then they should prove their claim.”
Reshma Mathew said that the allegations against her are ‘baseless,’ adding that one of the executive engineer is ‘hurt’ to see the progress of the department since she has taken over the charge of the department.
“One of our executive engineers is in hand in glove with these elements who are accusing me of irregularities. The same people were quoting for tenders and trying to gain double profits, and as they failed to succeed, they are now trying to malign my name. Let them prove if I have given any order directly to Pooja industries,” she challenged.
She said that she has managed to curb the corruption and improve the efficiency and overall performance of the department, and hence the particular ‘corrupt’ executive engineer has conspired against her.
“The executive engineer of division II directly places an order with GHRSSIDC, and it is they who raise the bills after supply to the concerned engineer of the stores. Then the payment by the department is made to GHRSSIDC. We are nowhere dealing with any company directly,” she said explaining the process adopted by the department while procuring electrical materials.
She further said that if GHRSSIDC is dealing with any particular company then it is not a concern of the department.
Shailendra Velingkar also claimed that Power Minister Nilesh Cabral kept the tender floated to procure electrical material worth Rs 4 crore in abeyance so as to favour Pooja industries and alleged that the minister received kickbacks from the particular company.
When contacted, Cabral rubbished the claim, and he too said that the department has never dealt with any company directly for small purchases.
“GHRSSIDC is the concerned agency. Who is this Shailendra Velingkar? It appears that this illiterate individual is not aware of how our department functions,” he said.