CBI books infra firm for alleged cheating of Rs 1K cr

Last Updated 12 March 2019, 16:45 IST

The CBI has on Tuesday booked the promoters of the Ranchi Expressway Ltd, including its CMD K Srinivasa Rao, for allegedly causing a loss of over Rs 1,000 crore to a consortium of banks led by Canara Bank, officials said.

The agency has registered an FIR against Ranchi Expressway Ltd CMD K Srinivasa Rao, its directors N Seethaiah, N Prithvi Teja and the company itself, besides Madhucon Project Ltd, Madhucon Infra, Madhucon Toll Highway Ltd and auditing firm named 'Kota and company'.

The FIR has also been registered against unidentified officials of the consortium of banks.

The matter pertains to four-laning of 163-km stretch on NH-33 connecting Ranchi to Jamshedpur for which the National Highways Authority of India had chosen Madhucon Project Ltd on March 18, 2011.

A special purpose vehicle Ranchi Expressway Ltd was created for the project on the basis of design-build-finance-operate and transfer model, the officials said.

With an estimated cost of Rs 1,655 crore for the project, a consortium of 15 banks led by Canara Bank agreed to fund Rs 1151.60 crore with a contribution of Rs 503.60 crore by promoters, they said.

"It was mandatory for Ranchi Expressway Ltd and its sponsors to contribute equity to the extent of at least 25 per cent of the total project equity contribution i.e Rs 115.80 crore before initial drawdown date as per contract with the banks," an official said.

The promotor-directors of Ranchi Expressway K Srinivasa Rao, N Seethaiah and N Prithvi Teja round tripped Rs 50 crore, diverted Rs 22 crore, claimed Rs 98 crore as maintenance and used Rs 94 crore as mobilisation advance totalling to about Rs 264.01 crore, according to an SFIO report, they said.

The directors allegedly indulged in fraudulent acts to get a total loan amount of Rs 1,029.39 crore released by the consortium of bank but no progress was made on the project with loan becoming a non-performing asset in 2018, they said.

On January 31, 2019, the National Highways Authority of India terminated its contract with the company and forfeited Rs 73.95 crore by way of encashment of the performance bank guarantee with Canara Bank, they said. P

(Published 12 March 2019, 16:37 IST)

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