Former Energy Secy Dr EAS Sarma smells scam in AP coal imports, demands CBI inquiry

Hyderabad : In the light of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI ) filing an FIR against  M/s Adani Enterprises and former officials of National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF) over irregularities committed in the supply of coal to the Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation, Dr EAS Sarma, former Energy Secretary, GOI, demanded  CBI inquiry into the very imports of coal by the AP Power utility.

The case against Adani Group and NCCF officials pertains to the supply of  6 lakh MTs of imported coal from Krishnapatnam port to Vijayawada and Muddanur (Kadapa) thermal plants.  The CBI FIR alleged that NCCF officials colluded with Adani Group to award the contract even though the company was not eligible to participate in the bidding.

The former bureaucrat, who has been waging a relentless fight against the violation of rule of law in the state is apprehending a scam in coal imports itself in the form of over-invoicing by the coal suppliers, and excessive imports by the APGENCO. Writing a letter to Nilam Sawhney, Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Dr  Sarma emphasized the need to institute an urgent inquiry into all aspects of coal imports by APGENCO. He said the APGENCO is still importing the Coal.

 “The reason that persuaded APGENCO to resort to such large scale coal imports in 2010, also prior to that year and even subsequent years to that year, in preference to getting coal from the Public Sector Coal India Limited (CIL) and Singareni, need to be investigated,” Dr  Sarma wrote in the letter apprehending a possibility of collusion between officials and  Private Power Produces and the coal suppliers.

 Dr Sarma alleged that many companies having coal mines in Indonesia and elsewhere had over-invoiced coal supplies to APGENCO and others. Stating that the over-invoicing has been under CBI/Enforcement Directorate  scrutiny, he asked the chief secretary if the state had ever approached the federal investigating agencies to safeguard state interests.

At one stage, the former IAS officer said private power producers in AP had prompted the AP GENCO to supply the coal from its own stocks and the GENCO had reportedly obliged them and resorted to coal imports.

He was of the opinion that electricity consumers of AP should not be allowed to bear the extra cost resulting from coal-imports scams.

“If the investigations establish irregularities or improprieties committed by public functionaries, an amount equivalent to the cost differential should be recovered along with penalty, and reimbursed to the consumers,” he suggested in the letter.

Dr Sarma hinted at a two-fold impropriety committed by APGENCO, that benefitted not only the private power producers in AP but also private suppliers of coal, imported from Indonesia and other sources.

He also brought how senior officials of APGENCO had overruled their juniors when the latter raised objections about coal imports, to the notice of chief secretary.

Dr Sarma, in fact, had written a letter to the CBI way back in January 2018 on the subject, and much to his chagrin, the CBI took almost 10 months to respond only to express its inability to take up the investigation as the then government led by chief minister Chandrababu Naidu had revoked general consent under DSPE Act for CBI to investigate cases in the state (GO MS No.176 )

Recalling this Dr Sarma again dashed off a letter to the CBI stating the AP state government has canceled blanket ban order (GO MS No.176) on June 6, 2019, and urged the CBI to launch a probe into the alleged over-invoicing by coal suppliers,  and excessive imports of coal by APGENCO  belatedly though.

 

Jinka Nagaraju

Jinka Nagaraju is a Hyderabad based journalist. He covered the entire spectrum of political activities of Telugu states from Hyderabad and New Delhi for about 3 decades. He represented Vaartha in New Delhi during the most happening decade of 1996-2006. He was political correspondent of Times of India from Hyderabad for 10 years. He was editor of Asianet’s Telugu digital platform. He contributed to many digital media outlets such as Al Jazeera, News 18, Newsable, South Post, The Lede ,Down to Earth etc. He is known for his Anthropological approach in the news analysis. He studied Physical Anthropology and prehistoric archaeology with Human population genetics as specialization, and his area of interest is Political Anthropology and Media Anthropology.

One comment on "Former Energy Secy Dr EAS Sarma smells scam in AP coal imports, demands CBI inquiry"

  • As long as you have the patranage from the rulers-judiciary-investigating agencies you can easily escape from the clutches of the law; and otherwise law haunts you. This is clealy evident from the iron ore, KGBasin gas, Coal-Australia frauds, etc. In this people like Gali Janaradhan Reddy becomesscape goat. You know Queen’s house cost-wise stands in number one position in UK and in India it is Mukhesh Ambi’s house in Mumbai. Let me give a simple example: see a report “Greens see red over Reliance project” – The Hindu dated September 24, 2007 [Andhra Pradesh – page 6]. “After the gas price row, the Reliance Industries Limited [RIL] is now caught in a fresh controversy with environmentalists accusing it of closing creeks and uprooting mangroves for locating its onshore KG gas and oil terminal near Kakinada”. It is not just the question of losing mangroves and creeks but the livelihood of hundreds of fishermen. I sent the report on behalf of the environmental groups to both state and central governments but no action was taken.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

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