Judicial probes into Kaleshwaram, power sector pick up pace

Hyderabad: The judicial probe into alleged irregularities related to various aspects of the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation scheme picked up pace with the Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose-led judicial commission beginning its interviews of past and present officials of the state government and irrigation department engineers involved in planning, and execution of the project.

Justice Ghose, who in the past few days visited the Sundilla and Annaram barrages of the Kaleshwaram project, had previously visited the stricken Medigadda barrage for an on-the-spot appraisal of the state of affairs in preparation for the meetings, and questioning of officials that began on Monday.

Speaking informally reporters, Justice Ghose said the commission has received 54 complaints, which would be studied. These include some related to non-payment of compensation to people who lost their land for the project. In addition to the summons issued to past and present officials, we will also be asking the agencies (that built the barrages and now working on monsoon protection measures).

Justice Ghose said that the inquiry might take longer than the earlier June 30 deadline as there were some delays due to the model code of conduct due to the elections until recently.

“For today, seven summons were issued and for Tuesday, summons have been issued to 18 individuals. Once the inquiry into the technical aspects is completed, we will examine the financial aspects and other aspects. We have received all the reports from the government and these will be studied in detail. We will also be getting a report from the experts committee set up by the government,” he said.

On Monday, among those who attended the hearings was former engineer-in-chief (general) Muralidhar. “We are in the process of finding out what went wrong, how and where. Today, engineers responsible for each of the barrages were questioned. Only after a thorough inquiry will the report be finalized and submitted,” Justice Ghose said.

He added that during his site visits, he called on the engineers to complete the repairs at the earliest to prevent any further damages or impact on people living along the project sites.

Meanwhile, Justice L. Narasimha Reddy, heading the judicial commission of inquiry into the power purchase agreements entered into by Telangana during the previous BRS regime, as well as issues related to construction of the Yadadri thermal power plant, also picked up speed.

On Monday, former CMD of TG Transco and TG Genco D. Prabhakar Rao, following summons issued to him, attended a hearing by the commission. Though IAS officer Arvind Kumar too was issued summons for attending the hearing, it is learnt that he did not attend on Monday.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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