Hebbalkar's kin bought lands just ahead of solar unit tenders

It is now learnt that Congress leader Lakshmi Hebbalkar’s family purchased agricultural lands just two months before the e-tender was called to set up 1-3 MW solar projects.
 
The e-tender was called by the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) in October 2014 under the Karnataka Solar Policy 2014-2021. The whole tender process was over within 7.25 minutes on October 9, 2014. DH had recently reported how co-operative banks sanctioned huge loans on paltry security to Lakshmi’s company Harsha Sugars Pvt Ltd.

The 295 applicants who finally bagged the tender on that day include Lakshmi’s mother Girija Hattiholi, brother Channaraj Hattiholi, who is also one of the directors in Harsha Sugars Pvt Ltd, and other relatives. The KREDL had invited online applications from agricultural landowners for the total reserved capacity of 300 MW. The government had agreed to purchase power generated from these projects at Rs 8.40 per unit.

Documents suggest that Channaraj had bought agricultural land (survey numbers 43/1, 43/2 and 43/3) at Basaragi village in Soundatti taluk in August, while Girija bought land (survey number 548) at Madamageri village in Soundatti taluk a month before the e-tender process.

Another beneficiary Iravva R Patil (survey numbers 157/1 and 78/7) received six acres of agricultural land through a gift deed in August.

All these applications have the mobile phone number of Channaraj and documents suggest that the applications were uploaded at 11 am, within 52 seconds. When contacted, Channaraj said he had entered his number in many other applications as well and that there was nothing wrong in it. “I am a businessman and well versed in computers. I have uploaded the applications on behalf of many other people. What is wrong in filing applications for other participants?” he said.
DH News Service

No favours done: Energy minister
Energy Minister D K Shivakumar said that the whole e-tender process was carried out in a transparent manner. “I myself had asked my friends who have agricultural lands to make use of the e-tender process. Only a few intelligent people have managed to bag the tender. The whole country has applauded the project and even the Union government commended our work. It was National Informatics Centre which conducted this e-tender and none of the state government employees was involved. Out of 26,000 applications received, only 295 applications were selected. I have not done any favours to any individual,” the minister said.
 

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