Panel for ACB probe into Mandur waste project

Panel for ACB probe into Mandur waste project

Panel for ACB probe into Mandur waste project
A legislature committee on public undertakings on Monday recommended a probe by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) into irregularities in implementing a proposed waste-to-energy project by the BBMP and the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Corporation Limited (KREDCL) at Mandur near Bengaluru.

In its report submitted in the Legislative Assembly, the 21-member committee has said that the BBMP failed to implement the project taken up under public-private partnership despite spending Rs 73 crore. Besides, the private partner — Srinivas Gayatri Resources Recovery Ltd — has raised Rs 52.95 crore loan from various banks by pledging six acres of government land, the report added.

The BBMP and KREDCL had jointly taken up the project to process 1,000 tonnes of garbage a day and generate 8 MW of electricity at Mandur. The BBMP had signed a memorandum of understanding with the private partner or the contractor to complete the project by April 2007. But the project has remained incomplete, the report noted.

“The BBMP had given permission to the contractor (private partner) to raise Rs 52.95 crore loan from banks by pledging government land. The committee is of the view that irregularities have happened in the BBMP in this regard,” the committee stated and recommended action against the contractor and BBMP officials. The contractor had raised loans from Indian Bank (MG Road), Oriental Bank of Commerce (MG Road) and IAFCL, according to the report.

The contractor had failed to incorporate measures to be taken to prevent pollution that the waste-to-energy plant would have caused in its detailed project report. The BBMP’s project valuation committee had objected to it and informed the contractor that it cannot implement the project unless those measures are taken.

The BBMP had even given 50 acres land at Mandur to the contractor to process the garbage and manufacture manure. And the BBMP had provided hundreds of tonnes of garbage for this purpose. But the contractor failed to do it. As a result, a large amount of garbage piled up near  Mandur village, the report said.

This apart, the committee found irregularities in Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Ltd (KSDL) and recommended a probe by a retired Karnataka High Court judge. KSDL had in 2013 paid Rs 4.64 crore to Balaji Processing Industries though the latter failed to supply the stipulated quantity of raw material, the report stated.

The money was paid to Balaji Industries without obtaining the permission of KSDL managing director A C Keshavamurthy. Officials of Corporation Bank paid the money though it was asked not to do so, the report added.