Andhra Pradesh Government has nothing to do with sub-contracts in sand policy: Minister

Minister for Energy and Mines Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy on Saturday clarified that the state government had nothing to do with the sub-contracts system in the sand policy, as “the government is concerned only with the foolproof functioning of the sand policy”.

He said that the lead company holding the tenders was entitled to issue sub-contracts.

Addressing a press conference at Tirupati, the minister rejected the reports in a section of the media about the involvement of outsiders in the sand contracts and policy execution. He said that Jayaprakash Power Ventures Ltd., which took up the tender, had paid ₹ 120 crore as a deposit to the government, and in case of any irregularities, the company concerned, which obtained the tenders through a national agency, would be held responsible.

Mr. Reddy alleged that during the Telugu Desam Party regime, Mr. Chandrababu Naidu and his Cabinet ministers had resorted to corruption of thousands of crores of rupees through illegal sand mining.

He said the National Green Tribunal had also imposed a fine of ₹ 100 crore on the TDP government for flouting norms. He said that the YSR Congress Party government had introduced the special enforcement bureau exclusively to implement the sand policy effectively, and so far 1,400 vehicles involved in sand smuggling and irregularities were seized in the last couple of years.

Dig at Naidu

Ridiculing the statement of Mr. Naidu that he would be constructing a house for himself at Kuppam, Mr. Reddy said that after 35 years of being an MLA from Kuppam, and serving as Chief Minister for 14 years, he (Naidu) had mooted the idea out of fear of losing the battle in Kuppam in 2024. Naidu can’t win in Kuppam next time even if he distributes gold coins to the public, ”Mr. Reddy said.

Replying to a question, Mr. Reddy said that there were 18 lakh agriculture connections in the state. He said that the Jagan Mohan Reddy government had introduced additional subsidies to the farmers, but the Opposition parties were only indulging in mudslinging on the state government on the power meters issue.

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