KATHMANDU, OCT 03 –
A week after a board meeting of the Nepal Electricity Authority ( NEA ) allowed its management to proceed with taking delivery of new transformers, JK Holding, which has been charged with selling inferior quality transformers, has dispatched 180 new transformers to replace the faulty ones.
Hu Bei Sunlight Electric Co and JK Holding had previously sent separate letters to the NEA , admitting that they had earlier supplied shoddy transformers and pledging to dispatch new sets to replace the faulty ones unconditionally.
The NEA management, unable to reach a decision due to the case being under the consideration of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), had asked the board to make a decision.
Responding to the NEA management’s proposal, the board last Monday allowed it to receive the new transformers based on the Special Court’s verdict. The court had earlier said the NEA could receive the transformers from the suppliers if any of them wanted to dispatch new power sets to replace the substandard ones supplied earlier. It had also decided that the suppliers be made liable to bear all the costs, including shipment, transportation and customs duty.
Upendra Dev Bhatta, chief of the Distribution and Consumer Service (DoCS) at the NEA , confirmed that JK Holding had dispatched the new sets. “We are, however, yet to receive them as they are en route,” he said.
The company had also offered 210 new transformers sets in December last year.
Following the CIAA’s major crackdown on the transformer scam—suspected to be one of the largest cases of irregularity in the country—the two Chinese companies had been repeatedly asking the NEA to let it correct their mistake for fear of getting blacklisted.
The anti-graft body has already filed cases against more than two dozen NEA officials and two Chinese nationals-Hu Zheng and Zou Yi Tian of Hu Bei-in connection with the transformer case.
The NEA , however, has not so far responded to similar proposals of another company, Hu Bei. “As the company has asked us to fix the date for dialogue to take the matter ahead, we are working towards that direction,” said a high level official at the NEA , adding that the NEA would soon respond to the company. After problems appeared in the equipment imported from China and Thailand in the last five years, the NEA in 2012 had formed an investigation committee to study the matter. The inferior transformers had resulted in higher power leakage, and a number of them had broken down. The committee led by NEA board member Krishna Prashad Dulal had examined 4,657 transformers installed at several stations and sub-stations.
The NEA has imported transformers from a Thai company Sahabhant Electric and four Chinese companies—Shenyang Dongneng Electricity Equipment, SVR Electrical and Sichuan Dongfang Transformer.
The first probe committee had concluded that the imported transformers were technically flawed, and that NEA officials were responsible. When the report of the malpractice by Hu Bei was made public, company representatives had apologized and pledged to replace the faulty equipment.
The probe committee had discovered during its inspection of transformers installed in Sindhupalchok and other distribution centres that aluminium wire had been used instead of copper wire, resulting in inferior quality.
Source : The Kathmandu Post