High profile J&K bank defaulters given notice for cancellation of allotted power project by HP govt.
Jammu, Sept 16
Himachal Pradesh government through H.P. Govt. Energy Development Agency (HIMURJA), Shimla has issued a show cause notice for cancellation of the project allotted to a Jammu based company namely M/s Himgiri Infrastructure Development (P) Ltd., owned by senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders including two deputy chief ministers of J&K which failed to commission 3 MW Hydel Project (SAL-II) in village Sahoo, Chamba (H.P). This has been revealed in a RTI query filed by advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed of J&K High court. The company failed to complete the project despite availing ‘One Time Amnesty’ issued vide Notification No.MPP-F(I)-2/2005-XIII-L dated 7th November, 2020 whereby the Governor of the Himachal Pradesh had announced Amnesty Scheme for all Hydro-Electric Projects by redefining Scheduled Commercial Operation Date (SCOD). M/s Himgiri Infrastructure Development (P) Ltd. had applied under the said Amnesty Scheme and it was allowed time to commission the project on May 31, 2022 but it miserably failed to avail the benefits of ‘One Time Amnesty’ and to commission the Project. A show cause notice for cancellation of the project has now been issued by the Government of Himachal Pradesh on 1st September, 2022.
In response to an RTI application dated August 8, 2022 moved by Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed, the H.P. Energy Development Agency, Shimla through its PIO-Cum-Project Manager, Shimla vide his communication No.HIMURJA (RTI) 2022-VOL 247078 dated 12.09.2022 intimated that the Project had been granted at a very low tariff and the matter was taken up with the Government of Himachal Pradesh for further necessary action and a Show Cause Notice dated September 1st, 2022 for cancellation of the allotment has been issued to M/s Himgiri Infrastructure Development Pvt. Ltd. which had availed ‘One Time Amnesty’ but failed to commission the Project despite availing Amnesty. A reply from the firm is awaited. The RTI reply further divulged that no further extension has been granted by Himachal Pradesh government (Ministry of Power) in favour of M/s Himgiri Infrastructure Development Pvt. Ltd. for executing the Project beyond May 31, 2022. It may not be out of place to mention herein that 3 MW Hydel Project was allotted in favour of M/s Himgiri Infrastructure Development Pvt. Ltd. by the Government of Himachal Pradesh and the Promoters/Directors/ Shareholders/Guarantors/Beneficiaries include Dr. Nirmal Singh (Former Deputy Chief Minister, J&K), Kavinder Gupta (Former Deputy Chief Minister, J&K), Sitting M.P. Jugal Kishore Sharma, Mamta Singh wife of Dr. Nirmal Singh, former Deputy . CM and others.
Interestingly, M/s Himgiri Infrastructure Development Pvt. Ltd. availed financial assistance from J&K Bank Lltd, Link Road Branch to the tune of Rs.31.00 crores from the years 2012 to 2016 in three instalments and thereafter the account became Non Performing Assets (NPA) and reportedly the efforts are being made to bail out the VVIP defaulters by resorting to One Time Settlement at Rs.15.00 Crores only.
Dr. Nirmal Singh is one of the guarantors in the NPA-turned loan account and his land measuring 03 Kanals 14 Marlas under Khasra No.795 min, Khewat No.19 min and Khata No.461 min situated at Sunjwan, Tehsil Bahu, District Jammu has been mortgaged with J&K Bank, Branch Link Road, Jammu and similarly Shops-cum-Factory Complex owned by Former Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta S/o . Bindraban Gupta constructed on land measuring 10 Marlas under Khasra No.856 min, Khewat No.53 min/31 min, Khata No.152/116 min situated at Omadha, Udhampur have also been mortgaged for securing the loan. Further all the aforementioned VVIPs have given their personal guarantees to the bank. Besides the aforementioned properties, there are several other immovable properties situated in various parts of Jammu which also have been mortgaged in favour of the J&K Bank, Branch Link Road, Jammu to secure the aforesaid loan but despite that the J&K Bank has failed to recover the multi-crore loan amount from the VVIP defaulters.
Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed has highlighted the inaction of the J&K Bank, Branch Link Road, Jammu towards its lackadaisical approach in recovering Rs.31.00 Crores along with interest from the VVIP defaulters for the past few months. But till date the J&K Bank has adopted silence over this issue of wide public importance. The money of poor public of Jammu, entrusted to the J&K Bank, Link Road Branch, Jammu has been involved and it remains to be seen what steps the J&K Bank will take in the near future to recover the Loan Amount from the VVIP defaulters, said Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed..