The state president of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s Telangana unit Bandi Sanjay Kumar on Saturday wrote a letter to Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan alleging corruption in the irrigation projects taken up by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's government.
Stating that the BJP was not against projects that would help provide drinking and irrigation water to people from Godavari and Krishna rivers, Bandi Sanjay alleged that corruption had been taking place for the past six years and reached its peak during the past two months amid the lockdown.
Pointing to tenders floated on March 31, 2020 for Rs 24,096 crore, the Telangana BJP chief alleged that the work was awarded to firms favoured by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on May 5, 2020.
In the letter, he also alleged that back in 2014 when the TRS formed a new government, it did not take up ongoing projects but rather redesigned projects.
"The government did not consider the expertise of government agencies and Public Sector Units (PSUs) like Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), TS-TRANSCO and more for components like motors, gates and pumps for these projects. The contract agencies, who were given these projects, are not experts like the PSUs. The costs and calculations were never made public," Bandi Sanjay alleged.
"Taking advantage of the lockdown period, as the firms cannot prepare designs and estimates, tenders were rushed for two projects in May. The first project is for lifting an additional TMC (thousand million cubic feet) as part of the Kaleshwaram project, costing Rs 19,862 crore, and the second is for a few packages in the Sita Rama lift irrigation scheme, costing Rs 4,234 crore," he added.
Pointing out that most firms could not prepare the design during the lockdown, Sanjay alleged that the tenders were 'tailor-made' for firms favoured by KCR.
Mentioning other irrigation projects like Rajiv Sagar and Indira Sagar, Sanjay pointed out that they were redesigned and dubbed the Sita Rama project, so that the TRS government could "take cuts from contractors".
He also alleged that the cost of the Palamuru-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme was increased from Rs 32,500 crores to Rs 52,000 crores, suggesting that the TRS government may have 'taken a cut'.
Taking about the Telangana government's flagship Mission Bhagiratha, where the project was given to Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited (MEIL), Sanjay alleged that there were issues about the quality of the pipes being compromised, which resulted in bursting of the pipelines at many locations.
In conclusion, Sanjay told the Governor, "It is a matter of grave concern that thousands of crores of state's exchequer is being exploited in this manner. Hence, it is requested that your kind self intervene in this matter and order an enquiry into the corrupt practices of KCR and his government so that the guilty can be punished in this regard."