TDP suspects massive scam in smart meters contract, feels heavy burden on consumers


Amaravathi, May 24: The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Wednesday suspected massive scam involving a huge amount of Rs 29,000 cr in awarding the contracts for smart meters and transformers to Shirdi Sai Company, which is said to be a binami agency of the YSRCP MP, Mr Avinash Reddy.

The former minister and TDP politburo member, Mr Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy, told media persons at the party headquarters here that the deal has been finalised in the office of the Shirdi Sai Company in Kadapa in the presence of Mr Avinash Reddy and the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the SPDCL (Southern Power Distribution Company Ltd). When the value of a smart meter in other parts of the country is less than Rs 10,000 why the SPDCL fixed the price of each meter at Rs 36,975, Mr Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy asked.

Even the meter reading burden too is being increased from Rs 5.30 per month to a whooping Rs 153, the former minister said and pointed out that the Shirdi Sai Company got the contract for the same smart meters even from the Eastern Power Distribution Company Ltd (EPDCL) at a nominal price. “The secret of the Kadapa meetings will certainly see the light of the day if the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) enters the scene and collects the details through Google takeout,” Mr Somireddy felt.

Demanding that where did this huge amount of money made through this scam by Mr Avinash Reddy has gone and into the hands of how many criminals, the TDP politburo member wanted the involvement of the Centre to bail out the five crore people of the State from this massive scam. Not only the State exchequer will suffer huge loss due to this scam but even the common man has to bear a heavy burden, Mr Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy observed.

“Already the State has to pay Rs 78,000 cr to the three Discoms and now in the name of agricultural and domestic smart meters another Rs 29,000 cr has to be paid and this is nothing imposing a huge burden on the common man,” he noted. While four companies supplied the transformers in the past, only the Shirdi Sai Company got the opportunity, Mr Somireddy added.

Though details on this smart meters contract have been sought thrice under the provisions of the RTI Act, the CMDs of the three Discoms did not respond, Mr Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy said. “Only after I contacted the Energy Secretary, the EPDCL officials shared some details with me,” the TDP politburo member observed.

These EPDCL officials said that only two companies, the Adani Company and the Shirdi Sai Company participated in the bidding for erecting 2.58 agricultural meters. The Shirdi Sai Company quoted Rs 23,647 for each meter while the Adani Company quoted Rs 24,600, he said and suspected massive scam behind the Shirdi Sai Company quoting a mere Rs 600 less than the Adani Company.

Asking as to why the CMDs in Tirupati and Vijayawada did not respond to his request till now, Mr Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy felt that they are afraid of giving the details due to this huge scam in the bidding. “The Chief Minister, Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy, wanted to make his brother, Mr Avinash, happy and thus gave clearance for this massive scam,” the former minister remarked and demanded that the Centre interfere in this matter and relieve the innocent five crore people of the State from this scandal.