Telangana CID probe finds scam in solar schemes

Hyderabad: Systemic loopholes were exploited to siphon off funds in the guise of incentives for solar power plants, an investigation by the Telangana Crime Investigation Department has shown.

According to the records of Telangana State Renewable Energy Development Corporation (TS Redco), as many as 18,000 plants were set up in undivided Adilabad and Karimnagar districts during 2014-16. The Union Renewable Energy Ministry provides incentives of Rs 11,000 per biogas plant and Rs 90,000 for each solar power plant.

The CID investigation has revealed that several entrepreneurs used the same plant to avail of incentives. They created fake records showing disbursal of incentives from TS Redco managers. Several beneficiaries submitted photographs of them posing in front of the same plant to claim the incentives, said an official.

As per a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), over Rs10 crore was embezzled via the incentive route. The government handed over the case to the CID in September 2019. A team led by CID SP Parimala is investigating the incentive scam for the past two months.

To encourage renewable energy practices, the government selects the beneficiaries for the incentives on setting up of biogas plants and solar power generation units. Few agencies have been appointed to raise awareness on the construction of these plants. These selected agencies are exploiting the loopholes in the system and creating fake units on records for disbursal of incentives without any proper work on the ground, said the official.

So far, they have claimed incentives by creating nearly 1,000 fake plants. As many as 34 agents in the two districts siphoned off Rs 5 crore, said the official.

The CID team met over 700 beneficiaries in each district and found that they didn’t avail of any incentive. As per records, over 2,000 solar power units are functioning in Karimnagar and Adilabad. However, CID officials found over  200 units are fake, but claim there are more than 1000 bogus plants.  

Dasari Sreenivasa Rao

Dasari Sreenivasa Rao is a freelance journalist with 26 years of mainstream media experience in Hyderabad and Dubai. He was Business Editor at The Pioneer and Spl Correspondent at Deccan Chronicle and The Hans India. Earlier, he worked for prestigious media brands including ToI, Indian Express (Bombay) and SPG Media and Business Standard in Hyderabad. NSE-qualified Dasari specializes in derivatives trading. He was visiting faculty at IGNOU and handled two batches of journalism students. Dasari is passionate about business journalism and always suggests all to practice rigorous meditation that ensures peace of mind and helps in moving up the value chain.

One comment on "Telangana CID probe finds scam in solar schemes"

  • I approached the Solar Agency who are working in the roof top subsidized scheme. They agreed to fix two 3 kw solar roof top SPV generators. They fixed the price. On the basis of this I submitted an application to Electricity authority for grid connection along with Rs. 10,000 fee. They sent me a letter saying that “inspected by the undersigned on 13/09/2014 and found technically feasible. Then I approached solar agency but now they demanded more money of Rs. 30,000. I refused to pay excess — here government payed the spoilsport. I lost Rs. 20,000 paid to electricity department. On my own without any subsidy installed 0.45 kw and solar water heater. They are still to date working.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

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