Telangana CM Revanth Reddy for comprehensive inquiry into ORR lease irregularities

Revanth Reddy wants responsibility to be fixed on officials and agencies behind the leasing process 

February 28, 2024 09:39 pm | Updated 11:39 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Telangana Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy has directed officials to order a comprehensive inquiry into the irregularities in the tender process for leasing out Outer Ring Road (ORR).

The Chief Minister expressed his dissatisfaction over the manner in which the ORR was leased out at lower rates causing major losses to the State exchequer. He asked the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) officials the reasons behind inviting tenders without finalising the base rate for the project.

Report sought

He wanted the inquiry to cover the officials and agencies responsible for the leasing process and fix the responsibility on those found guilty. He wanted a comprehensive report on the irregularities in the leasing process, the procedures that were followed and the movement of files between the departments and entrusted the responsibility of submitting the report to HMDA joint commissioner Amrapali Kata.

Mr. Revanth Reddy said that in case some files pertaining to the leasing process were missing, cases should be registered against the officials concerned as well as the employees. The State Cabinet would take a decision on entrusting the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or an agency of equal repute after the receipt of the report. The CM conducted an elaborate review on the functioning of the HMDA with senior officials on Wednesday.

Officials explained the Chief Minister that the Government was securing revenue of ₹600 crore a year in the form of tolls. Mr. Revanth Reddy asked the officials as to how the ORR was entrusted to IRB Infrastructure Ltd at ₹7,380 crore for 30 years when the average estimated revenue from the project to the Government during the same period was ₹18,000 crore.

The tender process followed by the HMDA resulted in loss of over ₹15,000 crore to the Government. The meeting discussed about the way in which the HMDA ensured preparation of the detailed project report by two firms and selected the DPR which would cause a dent to the Government revenue.

The Chief Minister was particular that a comprehensive probe would unearth the facts behind the entire deal. He revealed that the firm which emerged as successful bidder had transferred 49% share of investment to foreign firms on the basis of the contract agreement and wanted an inquiry into this aspect too.

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