Monday, April 15, 2024

ORR lease is a big scam, says Kishan Reddy

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There is a big scam behind handing over the Hyderabad Outer Ring Road (ORR) to a private company at a very low price, Union Tourism Minister G. Kishan Reddy said.

He said the BRS had said that they will ‘save’ the Visakha Steel Plant (VSP) from privatisation and the BRS government’s representatives had held meetings with VSP officials and had issued statements that they would support the people of AP.

“They don’t want to privatise VSP but in Hyderabad, they are giving ORR for 30 years to a private company. The government should have invited tenders on an annual basis as all debts incurred for constructing the ORR have been cleared. There is a policy of toll prepayment if debts have been cleared.

But in the case of the ORR, the tender was finalised in such a way that it would affect the government’s income. Everyone thinks this is a big scam. The Kalvakuntla family is trying to cheat the public and help middlemen. The Kalvakuntla family is donating government revenue to private companies after declaring that they are against privatisation. The people of Telangana should understand this,” he said.

“ORR is a golden goose. The KCR family is killing it. Will this tender be audited? Are they ready for a CBI investigation? If there are no irregularities will the Kalvakuntla family agree to a CBI investigation?” he asked.

Addressing the media at the State BJP office here on Sunday Kishan said that the KCR family is engineering scams worth thousands of crores.

“We will investigate this fully after the BJP comes to power. There is no question of letting off anyone. Whoever is responsible will be dealt with severely. It is necessary to find out how much share everyone got in this scam,” Kishan said.

He said the BRS government had handed over the ORR lease to IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited for Rs 7,380 crore for 30 years although the present lease holder company Eagle Infra has been paying Rs 415 crore annually to the HMDA and it will become Rs 12,750 crore in 30 years.

He said that according to experts if the revenue increases by 10 per cent per year it is possible for the HMDA to earn Rs 75,000 crore through tolls in 30 years. The state will get Rs 2,07,887 crore as income if there is an annual increase of 15 per cent in ORR revenue.

It seems that the BRS government wanted to cash in now as it thinks that it may not come to power again, Kishan said.

He said that the Telangana government is saying that bidding took place as per NHAI guidelines but that is wrong. He said that governments have to estimate development and give roads on lease for 15 years to 30 years.

He said that 72 km of NH19 in UP was leased out for Rs 3,011 crore. “In many places in the country roads were leased out only for 10 or 15 years. What is the need to give ORR on lease for 30 years in Telangana as traffic is increasing in the country? Isn’t it the responsibility of the government to see how revenue comes to the state? Some qualitative changes can be introduced. For whose benefit did the BRS government take this decision? What is the logic behind this?” Kishan asked.

“The HMDA Master Plan has been approved till 2031. If there is a master plan till 2031 what is the purpose of leasing out ORR for 21 years beyond that? This is against the HMDA Master Plan. Earlier, CRISIL had conducted a study and reported about ORR. But the report was not released. The Kalvakuntala family suppressed it. Based on the CRISIL report, why was the tender not invited? Explain why the firm Mazars was appointed instead of CRISIL,” Kishan said.

He said the BRS has turned ORR into its ATM. Is it not the responsibility of the BRS to clear the doubts of the public? In Hyderabad, instead of fighting land cases they are helping private individuals to make gains and are earning billions through it, he added.

“We will investigate these scandals and all land-grabbing cases after the BJP takes over,” Kishan said.

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