Alleged corruption in the implementation of Transgrid project
Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala on Wednesday wrote to Governor Arif Mohammed Khan seeking sanction to prosecute Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan; Electricity Minister M.M. Mani; and Kerala State Electricity Board Chairman N.S. Pillai in connection with the corruption to the tune of ₹261 crore in the implementation of the controversial Transgrid project. Mr. Chennithala sought the Governor’s permission under Section 17 A (1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 2018.
As per this amended provision, it is mandatory to secure the Governor’s sanction for prosecuting Ministers. With this, Mr. Chennithala has virtually taken his allegations to the next level, especially in the light of the stubborn stand of the State government rejecting a comprehensive probe.
Mr. Chennithala led a strong campaign against the award of contract for the Kottayam and Kolathunad packages of the ₹5,623-crore Transgrid project being implemented under Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board funding.
His prime allegation was that the contracts for both the projects were awarded in excess of the estimated amounts. He said that the corrupt deal was clinched in a pre-meditated manner, even undermining the tripartite agreement for the project.