Heads have rolled in Bescom in connection with a huge scam related to solar power generation by private persons. Mirror had revealed the scam in March this year. Nine executive engineers of the power distribution corporation have been suspended in connection with the scam, Karnataka energy minister DK Shivakumar announced on Wednesday. These engineers are said to be involved in the scam in which power generated by private persons is purchased by Bescom.
Shivakumar said that there are probably many more engineers who are involved in this scam. The decision to suspend the nine engineers is only the first step and the scam will be rooted out, he said. Shivakumar made it clear that many more engineers are in the line of fire and there could be more suspensions in the coming days. The nine engineers who are suspended in the scam now are: M R Ramesh (Chikkaballapura), KL Lokesh (KGF), GV Jagadish (Hiriyuru), KH Guruswamy (Madhugiri), H Krishnappa (Haveri), Shivannagouda R Patil (Bagalkot), DH Umesh (Gadag), D Umesh (Koppal) and Basappa K Pattanashetty (Sindanur)
The minister revealed that Bescom has received a total of 5,631 proposals by private persons to generate electricity from solar panels on rooftops. Agreements have been concluded with 3,494 of them for a total of 1,566 MV of electricity. However, basic guidelines have of contracts have been breached in 99 per cent of the cases. These engineers are said to be involved in the breaching of the guidelines when getting into contract with private parties.
It has been found that Bescom, with the help of the engineers, had entered into PPP agreements with private parties even when there were no buildings to install rooftop solar panels. It had entered into agreements with people who only showed vacant lands without buildings on them. After such complaints, higher officials conducted spot inspections and found that the allegations were true in many of the cases.
Shivakumar said that all such agreements where ‘rooftop power generation’ was agreed upon in vacant lands have been cancelled. He said that since there was no way of such agreements being signed without the involvement of the engineers, their part in the scam is evident. The next step is legal action against these government engineers, he said.