Monday, June 17, 2024

TDP sees scam in smart meters deal

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PNS|Vijayawada

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national official spokesperson GV Reddy has alleged that irregularities have been committed in the award of smart meters contract to private firm Shirdi Sai Electricals.

Talking to the media virtually on Thursday, he said that Rs 700 to Rs 800 is to be spent to install and maintain each smart meter but the AP government quoted Rs 12,000 for the same. He said that in Maharashtra, the fixing of each smart meter and its maintenance was estimated at Rs 700 to Rs 800 but the AP government estimated its cost of smart meter, installation charges, and maintenance charges at Rs 12,000, the TDP leader said.

“The government has quoted an exorbitant price of Rs 12,000 for each smart meter, its installation charges, accessories, and maintenance. This amounted to fleecing the farmers. The government quoted a tender value of Rs 6,400 crore for the supply of smart meters. The contract for the installation of smart meters was awarded to Shirdi Sai Electricals which is owned by a relative of Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy. The government deciding to fix smart meters to the agriculture pump sets is a big mistake.

Besides, kickbacks will be paid for awarding the contract to Shirdi Sai Electricals,” he slammed.

“Of the tender value of Rs 6,400 crore, the rules have been changed so that nearly Rs 5,000 crore will be lost in the form of kickbacks. The government, which wanted to award the tenders to Shirdi Sai Electricals, also changed the rules to suit the company,” the TDP national official spokesperson said.

GV Reddy claimed that the State Energy Department Secretary also opposed the way the government awarded the smart meter tenders to the Shirdi Sai Electricals, and pointed out that the government had cancelled the tenders which it had invited previously, in October. The government is prepared to damage the prospects of farmers to benefit the Shirdi Sai Electricals, he charged.

Vehemently opposing fixing of smart meters to agriculture pump sets, GV Reddy described the smart meters as a noose to the farmers. The smart meter would be an additional burden on the farmers who are incurring losses due to damage to crops and lack of MSP. The government’s policy would badly affect the Discoms and Genco also, he feared.

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