Reportedly, the bribe amount is distributed proportionately from top to bottom in the hierarchy. (Representational Image/ DC)
Hyderabad: ACB sleuths have caught nearly 20 employees of the TS Transco (Transmission Corporation) red-handed while accepting bribes with the amount ranging Rs 2,000 to Rs 2 lakh.
Incidentally, among all government departments and undertakings, Transco and TS Genco employees draw bigger salaries, including some drawing Rs 4 lakh a month. This is more so after the erstwhile AP State Electricity Board (APSEB) was divided into Transco and Genco.
Despite this, many engineers and administrative staff members are collecting bribes from consumers. This is especially for providing metres, installation of transformers, shifting of HT lines and issuing no-objection certificates for electricity load particulars.
Industrial and commercial sector consumers ‘have to pay’ field staff for getting uninterrupted power and preferential treatment. Contractors are charged ‘extra’ for measurement of civil works. Reportedly, the bribe amount is distributed proportionately from top to bottom in the hierarchy. Ironically, some union leaders are ‘rescuing’ corrupt employees from punishments like suspension and transfers.
Among those trapped by the ACB are deputy executive engineers, additional assistant engineers, assistant engineers, sub-engineers, linemen, line inspectors, work inspectors, junior accounts officers, upper division clerks, outsourcing employees and private persons.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a union leader contended, "We are doing risky jobs and generating huge revenue. So why not expect hefty salaries?" He said that consumers should understand the working conditions of regular and outsourcing employees of TS Transco.
Farmers are forced to pay bribes for getting speedy services. Due to free power supply to meet agricultural needs, some farmers are able to bribe Transco employees. "We should provide food and liquor to them to be assured of prompt services", said a farmer from Armoor seeking anonymity.
Meanwhile, while setting up a new ventures, realtors are approaching Transco officials for new electrical poles. Kickbacks running into lakhs are demanded by the employees. Many such corrupt elements have become ‘crorepatis’, sources said. All efforts made by Deccan Chronicle to get clarification from the Transco higher-ups were futile exercises.