The Gujarat High Court recently issued notice to the state government in response to a PIL alleging corruption in contracts for the development work at the country’s largest solar power project in Santhalpur tehsil of Patan district. A division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi issued notices to the government, Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL), Anti-Corruption Bureau and thirteen contractors.
The government today filed an affidavit as per an earlier direction. GPCL had awarded the contracts and, therefore it should file reply in the matter, it said. But not satisfied with this stand, the HC issued notices to all the respondents seeking their reply in two weeks. The petition, filed by former Congress MLA Farsu Goklani, alleged that the government did not follow due procedure while awarding contracts worth Rs 550 crore for development work at the solar park at Charanka in Santhalpur tehsil.
Citing information collected through the Right to Information Act, it submitted that contracts worth Rs 440 crore were issued through ‘limited tender’ to favour certain contractors who have links with ministers and bureaucrats. Goklani said he had lodged a complaint with ACB about the poor quality of work due to the corruption but received no response. He demanded a CBI probe. The project is the first in Asia with generation capacity of 500 MW of solar power.