Tadi Sakuntala alleges gross misappropriation of funds with collusion of officials

Former Mayor and YSR Congress party leader Tadi Sakuntala has demanded that the Information Commissioner should institute a committee to delve into the records of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation and Vijayawada, Guntur, Tenali, Mangalagiri Urban Development Authority to ascertain the allocation and usage of JNNURM funds.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, the former Mayor said that the committee should seek the cooperation of the district Collector, VMC Commissioner and VGTMUDA Vice-Chairman and release a white paper on the JNNURM funds used so far.

She alleged that there was gross misappropriation of funds with the collusion of officials, contractors and three MLAs and one MP -- all from the Congress.

Eye-opener

She claimed that the collapse of the flyover near Gunadala was an eye-opener and highlighted the misuse of funds. “Not only the quality of the construction was compromised but also the design was changed many a time to benefit the construction of an upcoming hotel, near Ramavarappadu Ring belonging to the family of a Congress leader,” she alleged.

Giving details on the JNNURM funds, the former Mayor pointed out that Vijayawada city actually did not figure in the list of cities that were initially earmarked for the grant of the funds.

“We put up a major fight and even went to Delhi and met S. Jaipal Reddy to see that the city was included. And it was only then that the first instalment of Rs. 101 crore was released in 2005. Thereafter, the funding has got beyond Rs. 1,200 crore over the years and now the city has been given JNNURM-II funding,” she said.

According to Ms. Shakuntala, JNNURM funding was to be used specifically for water supply, underground drainage, roads and sanitation. “Flyovers do not come under JNNURM schemes. How come the funds were diverted for the flyovers,” she questioned.

MLA’s role

Levelling allegations against Vijayawada Central MLA, Malladi Vishnu, she said that the MLA has a hand in the contracts and misappropriation of the funds. She alleged that Vijayawada West MLA Vellampalli Srinivas, Mr. Vishnu and MP Lagadapati Rajgopal have formed a coterie to loot government funds in the name of contracts and public infrastructure building.

She demanded that apart from the RTI Commissioner instituting a committee, the State government should assure that the committee that was formed to inquire into the flyover incident should be free from any influences and the Commissioner should also take up the task of investigating the assets of the Congress MLAs and MP in Vijayawada.

“I will personally go and submit a memorandum to the Commissioner,” said Ms. Sakuntala.

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