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DHBVN orders probe into grant of power connections to builders in Haryana

A probe has been ordered by the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) into alleged corruption in granting electricity correction to builders and commercial establishments as well as “arbitrary” transfer of some discom employees.

The investigation comes in the wake of junior engineers claiming that the executive engineer of Sohna division has been subverting government rules like bank guarantee, minimum required power infrastructure by builders, and declaration of total build-up area in granting of power connection to private builder societies in sectors 58 to 115.

According to Haryana State Electricity Board Diploma Engineers’ Association, as many as 10 employees who didn’t comply with the directions to overlook glaring lapses while granting power connection to private builder societies have been transferred on flimsy grounds at the behest of the senior official of Sohna division.

“For the past three years, we have been noticing how rules have been subverted, glaring lapses have been overlooked, and documents have been forged to help builders and private entities get power connection without even meeting government’s minimum criteria. In many cases, inadequate bank guarantee was accepted, or the builders were allowed to show half of the build-up area to get connections,” said Amit Moudgil, general secretary of the Association.

Sources within the department said that one of the major reasons behind the chasm between the power demand and required infrastructure to support it is “easy” grant of connections to builders and commercial establishments against “kickbacks”. As a result, despite being in power surplus, residents in the city are forced to grapple with prolonged power outages and frequent voltage fluctuations.

TOI has learnt that a three-member committee constituted to carry out the probe has given a week’s time to the employees to submit all the relevant evidence to support their allegations. “After their submission, we’ll evaluate their allegations. It will take a few weeks to reach any conclusion. But, the process has begun,” Chand Ram Sharma, a member of the investigating committee, said.

When contacted, the executive engineer denied all the allegations. “I have already submitted my explanation and I’m open to investigation. Neither any government rule was subverted in granting power connection, nor any transfer/termination was done arbitrarily. This is just a conspiracy to get me transferred,” he said.

TOI had earlier reported a CAG report tabled in the state assembly in December 2019 revealed glaring irregularities in how the department functions, pinning the losses to the state exchequer at Rs 4,000 crore in just one financial year, 2017-18.


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