Hyderabad: An ongoing income-tax search has unearthed a link between Megha Krishna Reddy, a close acquaintance of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, and Olectra Greentech, a company that has been chosen to supply electric buses to the state.

Olectra Greentech has supplied 40 electric buses. Each bus costs close to Rs 2 crore, out of which Rs 1 crore comes from the Central government in the form of a subsidy. The remaining amount is paid for by the state government. In the case of Olectra, that subsidy has not gone to the TSRTC, but to Olectra Greentech, which is owned by Mr Reddy’s firm, Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL), which has so far conveniently pocketed an amount of Rs 40 crore.

 

It is interesting in the backdrop of the ongoing RTC strike, when the Opposition parties have already made several allegations that the real intention of a crackdown against the strike and firing over 48,000 employees was because of the TRS government desire to privatise the RTC and hand over its assets to companies close to its top leadership, that this exclusive dealing confirms such fears.

The income-tax search revealed that on August 10, 2018, MEIL bought one crore equity shares of Trinity Infraventures, for a sum of Rs 650 crore, and took over the company. Trinity Infraventures used to be owned by ‘Goldstone’ Prasad, prime accused in the Miyapur land scam.

Mr Prasad also promotes the Goldstone Power. With the takeover of Trinity Infraventures, Reddy’s MEIL secured a 50 per cent stake in an associated company, Goldstone Infratech, whose name was subseque-ntly changed to Olectra Greentech, after MEIL entered the picture, according to documents accessed by Deccan Chronicle.

What sweetened the deal was an assurance by the state government that it would offer a contract for purchasing electric buses to MEIL-Olectra Greentech Ltd on behalf of the TSRTC. Olectra Greentech Ltd is a manufacturer of electric buses and autos, and its plant is located at Jedcherla in the erstwhile Mahbubnagar district.

In the first phase of the deal, MEIL-Olectra supplied 40 buses. The buses were purchased following a state government proposal to the Centre under a scheme called the Faster Adoption and Manufactu-ring of Electric Vehicles (FAME) in India, Phase II. Under this, 334 electric buses were to be purchased, of which 309 are for the Greater Hyderabad Zone and the rest for Warangal as part of the Smart Cities mission.

I-T sleuths recovered documents which show MEIL taking a 50 per cent control in Olectra Greentech Ltd. It also showed the entry of Mr Reddy’s family members, who are directors in MEIL, into the Trinity board. They include Mr Pamireddy Pitchi Reddy (whole-time director at MEIL), Mr Rama Reddy Pamireddy and other relatives, as non-promoter me-mbers of the Trinity board.

A source close to the Goldstone Prasad family said that besides MEIL, which had 50 per cent share in Olectra, the Prasad family had 38 per cent share, while the rest was with the public.

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