“The IAS officer who was in charge of this project, the cost of which was increased from Rs 1230.90 cr to Rs 2441 cr, going on VRS has raised doubts in people’s minds,” Stalin said.

news Controversy Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - 09:32

Tamil Nadu’s opposition party leader MK Stalin, in his latest statement, has raised concerns following reports of IAS officer Santhosh Babu, Principal Secretary in the Information Technology Department, seeking for voluntary retirement. 

“Why is IAS officer Santhosh Babu, who is responsible for the high-speed bandwidth and uninterrupted merger program, worth Rs 2,441 crore applied for VRS? Did the IT department Minister put him under pressure? Chief Minister Palaniswami should provide an immediate explanation,” reads his statement.

“The IAS officer who was in charge of this project, the cost of which was increased from Rs 1230.90 crore to Rs 2441 crore, going on VRS has raised doubts in the minds of people,” he says in his statement.

While Santhosh Babu IAS has not issued any clarification, reports emerged on Tuesday with news of his VRS application from sources privy to the development. There was speculation in political circles that the officer had been upset over undue pressure on him from the ruling party to approve a tender.

An IAS Officer of the 1995 batch of the Tamil Nadu cadre and an alumnus of the Government Medical College, Trivandrum, Santhosh Babu IAS has served TN government under various capabilities including Secretary to Government, Information Technology Department in 2011 and Chairman and Managing Director of Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation. Santhosh Babu is currently the director of the Tamil Virtual Academy and managing director of the Tamil Nadu Fibre Net Corporation in the IT department.

Under phase II of BharatNet project, all the 12,524 Village Panchayats in Tamil Nadu are expected to be covered for internet connectivity. This network will be utilised primarily for e-governance, telemedicine and education.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Tamil Nadu State Government and the Government of India in New Delhi on December 26, 2017 for implementation of BharatNet-II in TN. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called Tamil Nadu FibreNet Corporation (TANFINET) was incorporated in Tamil Nadu for the implementation of BharatNet.

The Integrated Digital Infrastructure that connects all the corporations, municipalities and town panchayats in the state, enabling the urban citizens avail the services of government departments at their doorsteps through optic fibre is being called TamilNet.