Oommen Chandy in trouble again after being named an accused in titanium scam
news Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | August 29, 2014 | 09:27 am IST The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (V&ACB) of Kerala has been ordered by a Special Vigilance Court to re-register a fresh FIR against 12 people which includes the Chief Minister Mr. Oomen Chandy, the Home Minister Mr. Ramesh Chennithala and the PWD Minister Mr. V.K. Ibrahimkunju in connection with the Titanium scam.Â The matter pertains to the alleged favours extended by the state government headed by Mr. Oomen Chandy to a private firm Grantex in obtaining a contract to construct a waste treatment plant in the state-owned Travancore Titanium Products Ltd. (TTPL) and also in buying equipments worth Rs. 200 crore. The complaint was filed by former employees of TTPL. They alleged that the Chief Minister and his ministerial colleagues had shown undue haste in giving the contract to the private firm and in buying the equipments worth this money. The Kerala State Pollution Control Board had earlier ordered the Titanium plant to be closed down within a week because it did not comply with the prescribed waste management norms. An internal committee that had been set up by the state government in 1998 to examine the working of TTPL had suggested that a neutralization plant worth Rs. 10.81 crore was sufficient to process the waste emanating from the company and bring it in compliance with the norms.Â A former Congress minister Mr. K.K. Ramachandran who was in-charge of the pollution control portfolio was stripped off of it when he had opposed the governmentâ€™s decision to grant contract to the said firm. He had later resigned alleging that he was under immense pressure from his colleagues to take a stand in favour of the deal.Â In the enquiry conducted by the V&ACB found misappropriations in the manner in which the equipments were bought but did not find any evidence to substantiate the role of the Chief Minister or any other ministers in the government. The said equipments have not yet been put to use. The equipments are still lying unused in the TTPL compound, says the Business Standard.Â The court being unsatisfied with the report filed has ordered the V&ACB to probe the matter afresh and submit its report within four months.Opposition Leader Mr. V.S. Achuthanandan has demanded that the Chief Minister quit immediately.Â The Kerala Chief Minister has been hit by Titanium just when the â€˜Solarâ€™ (scam) heat had eased for him.