Did NCRMI spent over Rs. 3 crore for acquiring defective machines?
An application was filed with the National Coir Research and Management Institute (NCRMI) under the Right to Information (RTI) regarding the purchase of de-fibering machines to distribute to Coir Cooperative Societies.
The reply to the application has revealed that initially Rs. 2.88 crores were released for developing 192 de-fibering machines which were to be distributed to the coir cooperatives across Kerala. However, as a proposal was submitted by the Director of the Coir Development Department regarding the modifications in the supplied machines including enhancement of the motor capacity from five HP to 10 HP, an extra amount was sought for meeting the expenses of the modifications.
The reply shows that majority of the machines were defective and developed technical faults like frequent tripping of the motor, overheating, etc. within a few months of the supply. It was found that the capacity of the motor was insufficient and may not be able to meet the power demand of the machine. While 93 of the de-fibering machines were supplied with five HP motors, 68 were replaced with 10 HP motors but all the replaced ones are lying unused. The detailed analysis by the NCRMI also revealed that no field trials were conducted for the machine developed by the NCRMI.