Graft results in Tamil Nadu Elect­ri­city Board losses

Corruption and tender violations in TNEB results in losing crores of rupees.
Chennai: Corruption and tender violations by the Tamil Nadu Elect­ri­city Board (TNEB) co­n­tinue to result in the loss of several hu­n­dred crores of ru­pees to the state exchequer.
Confidential reports available with DC show that funds were raised to a tune of Rs 200 crore during the year 2008-09 through a Delhi-based private merchant banker violating several norms. Similarly, in the next two years, six senior officials in the ranks of chief controller of finance, chief engineers and executive eng­ineers were bo­oked by the vigilance department for proc­uring sub-standard cables that did not adhere to specifications recommended by the TNEB, resulting in a loss of about Rs 10 crores.
A senior IAS officer had objected to the violations during the regular board meetings for fund raising, yet files were cleared in haste which resulted in losses worth several crores of rupees to the TNEB due to repayment of loans with higher interest. Now TNEB’s overall debt is estimated to be beyond Rs 60,000 crore, according to a source.
In fact the whistleblower was none other than one of the former energy secretaries. In a final remark, the officer on the TNEB wrote in the minute book (dated November 5, 2008), making mention of the Rs 200-crore fund raising episode.
“I do not agree with the reasoning on why the decision for selection of the arranger (banker) could not be done through a competitive process. Since the matter stands finalised there is no opt­ion but to rectify the action. It is requ­ested that in future proper procedure may be followed,” the official said.
In the previous rem­ark the top official had also insisted to go in for a short tender not­ice and maintained that despite sufficient time, no tenders were called for.
“The conviction rate of tainted officials in TNEB is relatively low, even tainted engineers get promoted,” said an official who has investigated a few such cases.
( Source : dc )
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