THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Rubbishing the charges of Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala on KIIFB audit and transgrid row, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said the Opposition leader was trying to create a smoke screen to wriggle out of the current imbroglio related to Palarivattom Bridge. At a time when the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) accounts are audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General, the Opposition leader is trying in vain to corner the government by raising some false allegations.
“This is nothing but an attempt to save the face of UDF and Congress in the Palarivattom bridge row, in which the previous UDF government was poorly exposed by the enforcement agencies over corruption charges. Where had been the Opposition leader in the previous years and if this year only he came to know about KIIFB and transgrid?” he asked.
In the case of the award of tenders for transgrid projects of KSEB, he said there was nothing wrong in the tendering process and the Board has the right to accept or reject the tender if the lowest quoted tender amount is over 10 per cent of the original project estimate. Further, a secretary level committee and Cabinet has the right to cancel the tender if there is anything wrong with the procedure, he said.
The Opposition Leader had sought the loan agreement between KIIFB and KSEB. It’s a public document and he can vet the document whenever he wants, the Chief Minister said. The Opposition leader has questioned the validity of ‘Delhi Schedule of Rate’ adopted for preparing the estimates. But the state PWD has been preparing the project estimates under ‘Delhi Schedule of Rate’ since 2013, Pinarayi explained.
“The Opposition leader has raised doubts over executing projects for the crisis-ridden KSEB after borrowing loan. But the state government is trying to enhance the infrastructure capacity of the Board through new projects, thereby reducing its liability. The Opposition leader has also alleged that the estimate cost of KSEB TransGrid project was 60 per cent higher than other similar projects.” The chief minister termed them false allegations and not based on any facts.
Ramesh had sought the Vigilance findings of the quick verification. But the chief minister said there was no such quick verification as termed by the Opposition leader in connection with the TransGrid project of the KSEB. The CM also said the government had not effected any changes in the posts of KSEB chairman other than administrative changes in the Board. He also said other allegations raised by the Opposition leader were not based on facts.