Chandrapur: The Chandrapur Electrical Contractors’ Association (CECA), the union of electrical contractors working for the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL), is on a warpath over the company’s refusal to raise cost data (labour rates) in line with the rise in the materials market rate. Maintenance, upgrading and troubleshooting work at MSEDCL has taken a hit as contractors attached to the association have stalled the company’s work.
CECA Chairman Dilip Waware said that contractors who are members of the syndicate undertake the New Service Connection (NSC) works sanctioned by the District Planning and Development Council (DPDC), Dedicated Distribution Facility (DDF ) and maintenance for the MSEDCL. Waware claimed that the market cost of materials needed for the job had increased significantly over the past few months, making it difficult to work at the company’s old rates (cost data).
“The cost of iron poles in the market is currently Rs 65 per kg while MSEDCL is insisting that we install the poles at the rate of Rs 48 per kg as per the cost data of the year 2019-20. Likewise, the rates of aluminum wire and other materials needed for the work have also seen a sharp increase. Therefore, it is impossible for contractors to work at the old rates,” Waware said.
He also alleged that MSEDCL officers are lethargic when it comes to completing DPR, Materiel Order (MO) and work order paperwork. Contractors are unable to submit invoices for a year or two due to backlog of paperwork by officials, causing losses of hundreds of thousands of rupees to each contractor.
Waware claimed that electrical contractors across the state more or less blocked their work for the company for the same reasons. He also claimed that their union informed the local MSEDCL zonal office, headquarters, energy minister and people’s representatives about their problems, but to no avail.
Waware also slammed the company for issuing the circular dated July 1, 2020, in which the executive director of the MSEDCL warned incorporated agencies (contractors) of action for failure to perform work at the old rates. The circular also directs the superintendent engineer of the operation and maintenance wing to issue new tenders for different projects within one week when these incorporated agencies are reluctant to work. Warare demanded the immediate suppression of this circular.
Chief Engineer, MSEDCL Chandrapur Area, Sunil Deshpande, and Public Relations Manager, Head Office, Prakashgad, Mumbai, Anil Kamble both declined to comment.