Canada

SNC-Lavalin row

Kaumudi Online
July 21, 2005

CPM state general secretary and former power minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday laid the blame on the UDF for not getting the grant for the completion of the Malabar Cancer Centre at Thalassery.

The previous LDF government had initiated steps to generate 1084 mw of power during its term. The MoU, agreement, study, procurement of materials and grants for the Pallivasal, Panniyar and Chenkulam hydel projects were fixed when A.K. Antony was the chief minister.

KSEB and Lavalin signed the MoU in August 5, 1995. The Canadian company agreed to provide the grant for the construction of the hospital.

A clear idea was derived for conducting the study, procurement of equipment and monitoring in the MoU. Canadian International Development Agency and other social welfare organisations agreed to provide grant. KSEB retired chief engineer C. Radhakrishna Pillai prepared the report and list of the machinery to be replaced.

Lavalin prepared the draft in 1996 January and signed the agreement in February 24, 1996. All the three projects need renovation as they are very old.

The projects were shut down several times for maintenance. KSEB decided on renovation of the project. LDF government decided to use the grant for the Cancer Centre.

The MoU for using the grant for the Cancer Centre was signed on April 1998. After 2002, the MoU was not revised and ended with the Canadian company stopping the grant.

Thus the Cancer Centre project was sabotaged by the UDF. Comptroller and Auditor General report is not a final report, Pinarayi had only sought a clarification.

The previous LDF Government had taken the policy of continuing the feasible projects undertaken by UDF.

Maintaining that the issue should be taken up by the CM with the Canadian High Commissioner, Pinarayi said that he was ready to face any probe in connection with the deal.

The Government can decide on which agency should conduct the probe. Pinarayi, however, skilfully evaded the question and comments on the meaningful silence of V.S. Achuthanandan on the issue.

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