The electricity department during Edappadi Palaniswami’s tenure as chief minister did not slap damages upon the long-term suppliers who failed to commence delivery at the right time, leading to a loss of Rs 828 crore to the state exchequer, a CAG report has revealed.
The report, tabled in the State Assembly on Thursday, was an awaited document that is expected to bare open the irregularities committed during the previous AIADMK regime. The DMK IT-wing had begun to drum up the anticipation to lead up to the tabling of the report.
For the year that ended in March 2018, the Palaniswami government bought costlier power when it could have gone for cheaper sources, and contracted with eight suppliers who did not begin delivery for the first two years of the deal period. For this alone, the loss was Rs 712 crore, the report said.
In one instance, said the report, the power department fell short of supply and bought from a costlier source that led to the expenditure of Rs 117 crore and did not claim any damage, which would have amounted to Rs 24 crore, from two truant suppliers.
The Tamil Nadu power department also suffered from immense cost escalations of delayed projects. Projects to be done by central generating stations had pulled on beyond targeted timeframes, leading to cost escalations of Rs 2381 crore while procurement of excess quantity led to avoidable expenditure of Rs 2,099 crore.
Palaniswami’s close aide P Thangamani was power minister, who had taken over from Natham Viswanathan earlier when J Jayalalithaa was the chief minister.
The CAG report also pointed out other irregularities such as excess procurement of freebies and feeble action on interlinking of rivers.