Former MD of KREDL faces fraud charges

Documents doctored to steal crores of rupees from rural electrification fund

The former MD and two other officials belonging to KREDL are being investigated for handing over contracts illegally under the village electrification scheme of the renewable energy company. Inquires are also being conducted about how much money was misused for the energy park initiative of KREDL.

Officials in the KREDL disclosed that a complaint was lodged at the High Grounds Police station last week.  “As of now, we have accounted for Rs 3 crore worth of contracts being handed over illegally. We believe that transparency rules were not followed and we are preparing a report on the violations which will be ready by September 30,” KREDL MD Tushar Girinath said.

The police have requested additional documents to file a First Information Report (FIR) and a disciplinary inquiry is underway in the department. KREDL receives annual grants from the Central government for several programmes including village electrification that encourages state governments to provide renewable energy sources like solar photo voltaic systems in remote villages and hamlets, where grid connectivity is not feasible or cost effective.

Apart from installation of power plants based on small hydro power, wind, biofuels, biogas, solar home lighting systems for domestic and community lighting is also encouraged. Sources in the government say that the former MD is suspected of siphoning off several crores from this fund.

Based on a complaint, an inquiry was conducted by independent financial auditors who found several discrepancies.  Further, they found that if the papers claimed that a hundred houses were covered under the electrification scheme, then only one would have been covered in reality.

Inquiry

An inquiry by the Energy Department in 2008 itself found discrepancies in the way the Managing Director had handled the funds that had come to the Department.
A senior official in the government said that action against the former MD was recommended in 2008, but the matter was being taken up only now. A complaint is also supposed to have been lodged with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) about the misappropriation.
It alleges that the former MD embezzled nearly Rs 100 crore from KREDL by creating bogus bills and drawing money to pay fake firms and agencies.

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