Arunachal, Dec 14, 2016: Replying to the report about a Vigilance probe that alleges fraud and corruption in the construction of two dams for 600 MW Kameng Hydro Electric Project, Union Minister of State of Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday has tried to distance himself from his cousin Goboi Rijiju, a contractor for Patel Engineering Limited which is under a shadow for allegedly providing fake transport bills and invoices related to work on building of two dams.
The Chief Vigilance Officer of North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) has accused Union Minister of State of Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, his cousin Goboi Rijiju, a contractor in Arunachal Pradesh and several top officials the PSU, including its Chairman and Managing Director, have been named in a 129-page report that alleges corruption in the construction of two dams for 600 MW Kameng Hydro Electric Project.
This dam is one of the biggest hydro-electric projects in Arunachal Pradesh in West Kameng, which is the minister’s parliamentary constituency.
The report also included an audiotape of the conversation between Verma and Goboi, in which the latter allegedly tried to convince the official to clear payments to construction firm Patel Engineering Limited (PEL) by invoking the minister’s name as his “bhaiya”. Rijiju was also accused of writing a letter to the Ministry of Power to release funds to the PEL.
Kiren Rijiju tried to distance himself from Goboi, saying the latter was a “distant cousin”, a member of his clan from the same village. The minister said his letter to Ministry of Power was only for helping the “poor local people” who were working on the project under the aegis of NEEPCO.
However, reports that the there could be more between Kiren and Goboi than a “distant relationship”. In the 29-minute audio tape of the purported conversation between Goboi and Verma, the sub-contractor can be heard referring to the minister as “Bhaiya” 17 times to push his case for payment to PEL.
According to Goboi Rijiju’s statement in the audiotape, people referred as “daily wagers” for whom the minister wrote a letter for payment of their dues worth “a few thousand of rupees” are actually contractors who have anywhere between Rs 30 lakh to Rs 1 crore pending with PEL.