TN govt orders vigilance probe into alleged coal scam by Adani group

The Adani group is accused of having sold low-grade coal at triple the original price to Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) in 2014.
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Following allegations that the Adani Group fraudulently sold low-grade coal as high-value coal to Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO), the Tamil Nadu state government has ordered the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) to conduct a preliminary enquiry and submit a report within two months. 

In May 2024, an investigation conducted by the Financial Times and Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), co-published on The News Minute, revealed that at least two dozen shipments of coal that arrived at the Tamil Nadu coast between January 2014 and October 2014 were initially priced as low-grade coal. However, they were ultimately sold by the Adani Group to TANGEDCO at triple the original price.

In 2018, anti-corruption group Arappor Iyakkam based out of Chennai, had submitted a complaint with the then AIADMK government, alleging that the Adani group had overcharged TANGEDCO between 2012 and 2016 and made profits to the tune of Rs 6,066 crores. 

Speaking about the scam, Arappor Iyakkam convenor Jayaram Venkatesan had told TNM,  “The quality of coal specified in TANGEDCO’s case is 6,000 kilocalories. Whereas, PT Jhonlin in their documents has mentioned a low-grade coal of 3,500 calories for $28. It travels through different companies and when Adani group invoices TANGEDCO, the coal suddenly upgrades to 6,000 kilocalories with an increase in price. It is to note that between 2012-16, 2.44 crore metric tonnes of coal was imported by TANGEDCO and around half of it was supplied by Adani.” PT Jhonlin is the company registered as the sender of the coal from Indonesia while Tangedco is the receiver. 

Watch Jayaram's interview 

The low-grade coal supplied to TANGEDCO,which was eventually used in thermal power plants in the state, would have severely increased environmental pollution, Jayaram said and added that TANGEDCO had faced a loss of Rs 1.5 lakh crore due to such corruption and that people suffered due to it as electricity tariffs were increased. 

What is the alleged scam? Watch this explainer.  

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