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Arappor Iyakkam raises red flag against Tangedco’s tender to procure 20 lakh tonnes of coal

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The organisation claimed there were serious flaws in the floating of the tender, and said it was completely against the Tamil Nadu Transparency in Tenders Act and Rules

Arappor Iyakkam, a Chennai-based organisation, has raised serious doubts about the tender practice adopted by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) for procuring more than 20 lakh tonnes of imported coal at a cost of ₹1,330 crore.

Jayaram Venkatesan, convenor of Arappor Iyakkam, claimed there were serious flaws in the floating of the tender norms through the introducing of new clauses, and said the tender was completely against the Tamil Nadu Transparency in Tenders Act and Rules. He alleged that the tender, which has clauses restricting participation by domestic players, has been floated with the sole aim of selecting a foreign company for supplying imported coal.

Mr. Jayaram also picked holes in the tender publication and the urgency of the tender when a minimum of 30 days of gap needs to be given from the date of tender publishing. He said, “This tender specifies the commencement date as February 8 but was published on the website only on February 12 and the last date of submission was fixed on February 23. Only a 15-day gap has been given against the mandatory 30 days gap.” Above all, when it has been prescribed that any tender carrying a value of above ₹75 crore needs to be published in the Indian Trade Journal, this tender carrying a value of more than ₹1,000 crore was not published in the trade journal, he said.

Arappor Iyakkam has also questioned the urgency of Tangedco’s need to import coal for one year when the date for the Assembly election is set to be announced, and also asked about the necessity to call for such a huge quantity for thermal plants, which are already operating only at 40% capacity and the wind season is set to start in May.

Mr. Jayaram said the tender was flawed also for the reason that Tangedco did not get the approval of the board either of the changes in the procurement clauses or in the issuing of the tender for procuring coal. He said: “It is reliably learnt the tender was only ratified at the board meeting held on February 18.”

A senior official of Tangedco said they would be looking into the questions raised by Arappor Iyakkam.

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