MEIL stops work on 850 MW Ratle Hydro Electric Project

Influential persons pressuring mgmt for gratification: Company

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Nov 7: Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) has stopped work on 850 Mega Watts (MW) Ratle Hydro Electric Project on River Chenab in Kishtwar district due to frequent protests by workers and pressure from local influential persons for payment of personal gratification.
The Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited, which entered into contract agreement with Ratle Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited (RHPCL) in the month of April 2022, last evening pasted a notice at conspicuous places of the project site and conveyed to everyone working in the project about its decision.
The notice issued by the Chief General Manager, Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) for 850 Mega Watts Ratle Hydro Electric Project, read: “The project progress is suffering severely due to the lack of the work culture among our manpower, frequent stoppage of work, manhandling of MEIL staff, dharna and strikes by local influential persons to pressurize the management for personal gratification thus resulting into irreparable losses and bad name to the company”.
“Consequent to the above, the management has decided to close the project for indefinite period with effect from November 6 (20.00 hours). All dues of the employees and the stakeholders will be dealt with as per the law of the land”, the notice further read.
Sources told EXCELSIOR that protests were being held by the manpower engaged for the project mainly because of undue interference from the local influential persons.
“It was due to unwarranted interference from the outsiders particularly the local politicians and trade union leaders that even in the past project suffered extensively leading to termination of agreement with earlier company”, they further said, adding “ever since the start of work on this project there remained undue demand from the influential persons about adjustment of their near and dear ones in the project”.
Sources further said, “instead of playing role in facilitating smooth work on the project to ensure its completion the influential persons and some trade union leaders always played spoilsport leading to several instances of suspension of work in the past”.
EXCELSIOR made numerous calls to Chief General Manager of Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited, Ratle Hydro Electric Project H S Rathore but there was no response.
It is pertinent to mention here that Ratle Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited (RHPCL) and Megha Engineering & Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) had inked a contract agreement for the turnkey execution of 850MW Ratle Project in the month of April 2022 in the presence of Lieutenant Governor.
It was stated at that time that 850 MW Ratle Power Project will provide massive direct and indirect employment opportunities to the local population and concerned agencies were directed to lay down a comprehensive mechanism for the skilling of the local people which will enable them to avail job opportunities in the execution of the project.
“There is a dire need for the administration to resolve all the issues which have started hampering work on the project once again so that project, which has already suffered prolonged delay in the completion, doesn’t suffer anymore as another big blow to the project will be detrimental to the interests of the country and Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir”, sources stressed.
Late in the night, Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar claimed that issue has been resolved in a meeting attended by Ratle management and trade union and work will resume from tomorrow. However, there was no official word from Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited.