… government intervened after community appeal to PM 

Kelzang Wangchuk  | Samdrupjongkhar

Villagers of four gewogs in Samdrupcholing in Samdrupjongkhar are relieved after State Mining Corporation Limited (SMCL) extended the deadline for their company to procure earthmoving equipment (EME) that SMCL will hire.

SMCL wrote to Pemi Dejung Kuenphen Private Limited (PDKPL) on February 5, the company formed by villagers of the four gewogs, informing of its decision.

With a month left to complete the contract with the present contractor, SMCL had earlier floated tenders for the operation of mines in the locality after its arrangement with the PDKPL company fell through.

The villagers appealed to the Prime Minister to revoke the tender and award the EME hiring works at Tshophangma coal mines to their company on February 1. The government issued directives to SMCL to extend the deadline for the PDKPL procure the EME.

According to SMCL’s letter to PDKPL, the company should procure and own the EME they would hire to SMCL, and should also submit the blue book, registered with the company, of four 340hp new excavators, 18 140hp new excavators and five 130hp new wheel loaders by March 22.

“Partial fulfilment of the conditions shall not be acceptable, and SMCL shall not be liable for that in any manner,”  the SMCL’s letter stated. 

“Since the SMCL has already tendered out the EMEs hiring for Tshophangma coal mines, any liabilities due to this postponement shall be levied on Pemi Dejung Kuenphen Private Limited should it fail to fulfil the conditions.”

PDKPL’s chairman, Sonam Wangdi, said the communities are grateful to the government and SMCL for extending the deadline and issuing the letter to help procure the machines.

He said that they would conduct a meeting and begin the process to procure the machines as they had contacted a dealer in Phuentsholing, and a machine manufacturer in Kolkata.

“We would deploy the EME required by SMCL as we also got an assurance letter from the machine dealer,” the chairperson said.