Nagpur: In a surprising development, the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), in its haste to get a solar power project planned by it, underway, went ahead with its execution without seeking the government’s administrative approval. However, it was soon caught on the wrong foot. The government had received the project proposal, but had decided not to go ahead with it due to poor viability.
The college alleged wrong doings in the case encompass:
• Appointing Kanyaka Non-Conventional Energy Pvt Ltd as consultant without following the tendering process
• Demolishing an abandoned structure for the project without the Public Works Department (PWD) permission
Speaking to TOI, the Minister for Energy and Renewable Energy, Chandrashekhar Bawankule has clearly stated GMCH was wrong in appointing a consultant and preparing the DPR at this stage.
The GMCH plans to set up the 7MW solar power project set up on 15 acres of land in its TB ward premises, with part of it being on the 7 acre roof of the hospital building. The power generated by the project is meant to be supplied to the dental college and super specialty hospital.
Bawankule said, “The 7MW project will require about 35 acre roof area, which GMCH does not have. They will have to up solar panels on land in some forest, which will require funds, and hence will not be viable.”
Bawankule being critical of the GMCH move said that the government’s own city-based company MahaUrja has many consultants. “It’s mandatory to take MahaUrja’s permission before taking any steps. GMCH should not have appointed a private consultant without our knowledge or tried to prepare a DPR,” he said.
The TOI team that visited the GMCH’s TB Ward, said that the authorities had begun to dismantle a structute by removing its tin sheets on the roof. However, the PWD intervention in the form of a notice dissuaded them from continuing with the task of dismantling.
Admitting to the GMCH’s mistake of starting work without government approvals, the Dean, Dr Niswade said “The structure was anyway abandoned and had to be dismantled. But it’s logical for PWD to stop the work since we are yet to receive approval.”
Speaking about the appointment of the consultant without prior government approval, Dr Niswade said , “The project has been adopted by the central government. Since we do not have state approvals, no tendering was done. The consultant was not officially appointed; but volunteered to map the project and prepare DPR. Moreover, Kanyaka has been recommended by the central government.”
Estimating the project costs at Rs. 22 crore, Dr. Niswade said the state Medical Education and Drugs Department however, had written to the Directorate of Medical Education and Research that the project would cost about Rs 50 crore.
Dr Niswade revealed that the central government and the district planning Board (DPD) were together funding the project; the major burden being borne by the centre.
He also told the TOI, that the Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA) is supporting the initiative. However, Bawankule contradicted his claim.