Judicial panel on power issues serves notice on former Telangana CM KCR, seeks his version on decisions

In all, 25 officials, others served notices on power purchase agreement with Chhattisgarh, execution of Bhadradri Thermal Power Station and Yadadri Thermal Power Station

Updated - June 11, 2024 09:55 pm IST

Published - June 11, 2024 07:56 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Justice L. Narasimha Reddy.

Justice L. Narasimha Reddy.

Justice L. Narasimha Reddy Commission appointed by the State government to inquire into the alleged irregularities in the power sector during the previous Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government has served notices on 25 officials and non-officials, including former Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, seeking their written explanation.

Among those on whom the notices were served include the bureaucrats who held the responsibility of Energy Department Secretary from 2014 to 2023 such as Arvind Kumar, Suresh Chanda, Sunil Sharma and others, executives of the power utilities who were involved in the decision-making, including former chairman and managing director of Genco and Transco D. Prabhakar Rao, former minister Energy Minister G. Jagadish Reddy and others.

Justice Reddy told mediapersons here on Tuesday that the notices were served last month. While written information was being collected from some, some others were being summoned to give their versions in person before the Commission. Mr. Prabhakar Rao and retired bureaucrat and former Energy Secretary appeared before the Commission on Monday and gave their versions on all the terms of reference of the judicial panel.

He stated that Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao had sought time till July 30 for giving his version but the Commission had written again to him to share his version by June 15 citing the limited time the Commission has. The Commission would ask some of the persons on whom the notices were served in case their explanation lacked clarity. The Commission would also take the views of some individuals such as K. Raghu, M. Kodandaram and M. Venugopala Rao.

The State government has appointed the Judicial Commission in March this year to inquire into the alleged irregularities in the execution of 4×270 megawatt Bhadradri Thermal Power Station, 5×800 MW Yadadri Thermal Power Station and 1,000 MW power purchase agreement with Chhattisgarh Power Distribution Company Ltd.

Justice Reddy stated that the Commission had information that due diligence was not followed in case of the power purchase agreement (PPA) with Chhattisgarh for procurement of 1,000 MW when the power project from which it was scheduled to be supplied did not even exist and the reason cited was acute shortage of power. Though the memorandum of understanding was signed in 2014, power was not supplied till 2017 and even that was stopped after three years.

In case of BTPS he said sub-critical technology was used leading not only to environmental issues but also the higher cost of supply as the 1,070 MW plant would consume ₹250 crore to ₹300 crore worth additional coal every year compared to super critical technology plants, Justice Reddy said.

The YTPS contract was also given to BHEL in the nomination methods without calling for tenders. He stated that the authorities were making claims that one unit would be commissioned in August this year. “I have my own doubts as even the railway line for coal supply has not been completed so far. Even after completion, it would take 3-4 months for testing before opening it for regular plying of trains,” Justice Reddy stated.

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