BJP claims corruption in Kanti Velugu programme
DECCAN CHRONICLE | dc correspondent
Hyderabad: The ongoing Kanti Velugu programme came in for sharp criticism with former MP and BJP leader Dr Boora Narasaiah Goud on Saturday saying it smacked of corruption. Dr Goud told a news conference that auto refractometers – used to assess refractive errors in the eyes and to prescribe corrective glasses — that could be purchased for Rs 1.5 lakh each were bought Rs 2.5 lakh apiece.
Dr Goud said, "This is a scam. The contract for the machines was given to a company called Akruthi, which belongs to a friend of an important BRS leader." What happened to the auto refractometers that were bought in 2018 for which the government spent Rs 100 crore, he asked.
The BJP leader said that though the government claimed that it had formed 1,500 special teams for the Kanti Velugu programme, it was being manned by fresh optometry graduates recruited temporarily for three months. "Is there a single ophthalmologist in the camps? With not enough optometrists, AHSA workers are being pressed into service to check those who are going to get their eyes tested," he said.
"This is a serious issue. The Chief Minister has converted even a health related issue into a political event. Otherwise, how can one explain why Kanti Velugu is taken up just before elections. The same thing happened in 2018, and it is happening now again as the state heads for elections later this year," he said.
Dr Goud said the Chief Minister was lying at the BRS meeting in Khammam when he said that he was against privatization. "If he is against privatisation, why did his government allow private eye hospitals to flourish while leaving the premier government-run Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital to languish? This hospital does not even have basic equipment, and its operation theatres are falling apart," he claimed.
If the government is serious, then it should set up regional eye hospitals and equip them properly as eye health is a continuing issue for people and cannot be addressed by holding camps once in a few years, he said.