After AI camera, Cong raises corruption charges against Vijayan govt's KFON project
Kasaragod | After the Artificial Intelligence (AI) camera project, the opposition Congress on Thursday levelled corruption charges against the LDF government's flagship Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON) scheme which was envisaged to provide free internet for poor families.
Lashing out at the LDF government, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly V D Satheesan alleged there was massive corruption in the project which has offered to provide free internet to 20 lakh families.
Sub-contracts had been awarded violating rules and the PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), which led the consortium of companies that had been awarded the contract, was given an excess tender amount of Rs 520 crore than the actual estimate, he said at a press meet here.
The huge tender excess was given against an existing government circular issued by the then finance secretary K M Abraham that tender excess should not be more than 10 per cent in government contracts, he pointed out.
"A scam similar to that of the AI Camera scheme has happened in the KFON project also," the LoP alleged.
Charging that the scandal behind the KFON project was bigger than the AI camera deal, Satheesan claimed the opposition has all the information to prove this.
Pointing out to the involvement of Bengaluru-based SRIT and a state-based private company in the significant government schemes, the Congress leader said similar companies were behind both the AI camera and the KFON projects.
"These companies would grab all the profit of the project in which Rs 1,500 crore is being invested by the government", he charged.
"The same pattern (of corruption) in the AI camera deal has been implemented in the KFON project also. The same companies would get a profit share in both these projects," Satheesan alleged.
Though KFON, launched in 2017, had promised to provide free internet connections to 20 lakh families and 30,000 government offices within 18 months, it could not be implemented even after six years, he alleged.
The Pinarayi Vijayan government had later reduced their promise to provide free internet to just 14,000 families, he said.
Attacking Chief Minister Vijayan, the LoP said he would be the first CM in the country who would continue to remain silent despite facing charges of abuse of power.
He also said the Congress-led UDF would lay siege to the state Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram on the anniversary day of the second Vijayan government.
The Congress has been raising corruption charges against the 'Safe Kerala' project, which included installation of the AI cameras, envisaged to reduce road accidents and traffic violations in the state, since it's inauguration in April