Andhra Cabinet greenlights CBI probe into AP Fibernet project

Deccan Chronicle.  | Md Illyas

Nation, Politics

YSRC government likely to ask CBI to probe purchases made under TDP welfare schemes

The YSRC government alleges corruption in the Fibrenet project during the previous TDP regime.

Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh government has given the nod for the Cabinet sub-committee's recommendation for a CBI probe into irregularities that took place during the previous TDP term in AP Fibernet and other schemes.

The Cabinet meeting, chaired by chief minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday approved the Cabinet sub-committee report on illegalities in AP Fibe-rnet, Chandranna Sankranti Kanuka, Christmas Kanuka and Ramzan Tohfa schemes, and found anomalies during the TD regime in the implementation of the schemes and directed for a further probe by CBI.

Briefing media after the Cabinet meeting, minister for I&PR Perni Venkatramaiah (Nani) said the sub-committee submitted its report which recommended a CBI inquiry into the irregularities in AP Fibernet (Optic Fibre Grid) project and purchases made for the other three schemes.

The minister said that in the primary investigation, it was found that a large number of irregularities, including nepotism, had taken place in the AP Fibernet Project. He stated that the project was allotted to people who are not qualified for carrying it out and nearly Rs 700 crore of corruption had taken place.

He further stated that it was allotted to Terra Software, a company owned by Vemuri Harikrishna Prasad, who is close to the TD leadership. He was also accused in EVM tampering case.

“Misappropriation added to corruption and nepotism took place right from acquiring set-top boxes to the appointment of officials and showing favouritism while implementing the contract, which was given to the favoured party while setting aside the bid of a Central government institution, though it was the lowest bidder. Even during the distribution of set-top boxes, four companies were called and the government agreed to share the contract, but in reality, only Terra Software was given the entire distribution work,” he pointed out.

“Similarly, in welfare schemes like Chandranna Sankranti Kanuka, Ram-zan Tofa, and Christmas Kanuka, irregularities were found during the procurement of supplies, where nearly Rs 150 crore of corruption was identified in primary investigation. Purchases, including of milk products, were made in an arbitrary manner and on all these irregularities, the Cabinet has ordered for CBI enquiry for further investigation,” the minister said.