The DVAC found that the officials deliberately overlooked the irregularities in the tenders given for the road contracts.
A total of 10 officials including four IAS officers have been found involved by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption, in illegally awarding contracts to firms linked with corruption-tainted former Minister of Municipal Administration SP Velumani. On September 25, 2021, the DVAC in its report said that the officials from Chennai and Coimbatore Corporation were involved in a criminal conspiracy that resulted in huge loss to the exchequer.
The four IAS officers named in the report are Vijayakarthikeyan (former Commissioner of Coimbatore Municipal Corporation), former Commissioner of Chennai Corporation G Prakash, former Deputy Commissioner (works) Kandasamy and former Deputy Commissioner (health) Madhusudhan Reddy.
The DVAC found that the officials deliberately overlooked the irregularities in the tenders given for the road contracts and other contracts that cost the state exchequer a loss of nearly Rs 30 crore.
The confidential report which surfaced very recently, demanded the suspected officers in the scam to be added as additional accused. Though the report established the role of the officers in the scam, The Times of India reported that the government has not given its assent to prosecute the officials named in the corruption scandal.
Other officials named by the DVAC are: former Coimbatore Corporation Deputy Commissioner Gandhimathi, former Chennai Corporation Chief Engineer L Nandakumar, former Chennai Corporation Executive Engineer R Senthilnathan, former Coimbatore Corporation Assistant Executive Engineer K Saravana Kumar, former Coimbatore Corporation Assistant Engineer SP Ravikannan and former Coimbatore Corporation Draughtsman Anitha Josephine.
In one of the scams that took place in the Chennai Corporation, Executive Engineer( Bus Route Roads Department) Senthilnathan, Superintending Engineer (Roads and Bridges) L Nandakumar Chief Engineer (general) Pugazhendhi and Deputy Commissioner (works) who were members of the Technical Scrutinising Committee of Chennai Corporation, failed to notice the irregularities committed by M/s SP Builders which is allegedly linked to the former Minister. The DVAC found that the officials awarded six road contracts to M/s SP Builders without adopting any tender procedures even though the tender amount was very high. This resulted in a loss of Rs 2, 76,34, 869 to the Corporation. The DVAC said that it was a “predetermined” conspiracy.
Initially, the DVAC which was probing the scam, filed an FIR against the former Minister on August 9, 2021.
During his tenure as the Minister from 2014-2021, Velumani awarded tenders to 10 companies allegedly linked to him–Senthil and Co, Maha Ganapathi Jewellry, Vardhan Infrastructure, KCP Engineers pvt Ltd, CR Constructions, ACE Tech, Aalayam Foundation, Hosur builders, Constronics India, Constromoll goods and Aalam Gold– which witnessed a massive growth.
According to the DVAC, CR Constructions saw a growth of a whopping 11363% between FY 2012-13 and 2018-19. Constronics India, which started in 2014, went from a turnover of Rs 0.86 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 42.11 crore in 2017-18 – a growth of over 4700%. Vardhan Infrastructure went from registering a turnover of Rs. 2.02 crore in 2012-13 to Rs 66.72 crore in 2018-19 – growing more than 3200% in a span of six years.
The probe into Velumani’s corruption was initiated after Arappor Iyakkam, an anti-corruption NGO based out of Chennai had filed a complaint on September 12, 2018 that a few companies had won 53 contracts worth Rs 130 crore floated by the Chennai and Coimbatore Corporations.
Source: The News Minute