TN milk co-op probes role of former Minister in Rs 30 cr irregularity

Tamil Nadu milk cooperative Aavin’s vigilance team, which has found irregularities to the tune of Rs 30 crore in the organisation, is probing the involvement of former Dairy Minister Rajenthra Bhalaji in it.

Bhalaji is absconding since December 17 after the Madras High Court denied him anticipatory bail in the job racketing case amounting to Rs 3 crore. Two cases are registered against the former minister.

Probes conducted by the Aavin’s vigilance wing of the Aavin has found irregularities and corruption in the sale of ghee from the milk cooperative for making the famous Tirupati ‘laddu’, IANS had reported on Thursday.

Aavin sources informed that the vigilance team has found Rs 1 crore irregularities in the installation of solar panels in the company premises and more so, these were not working since the beginning. A study conducted by the vigilance team found that the solar panels were of substandard quality and were not functioning at all.

The GPRS devices attached to the milk carrying vans were also non-functional and also fixed in a wrong position.

According to sources in the milk cooperative, these installations had been made during 2019 and 2020 when Bhalaji was at the helm of affairs. An estimated amount of Rs 1 crore was spent on these GPRS devices, they said.

Another major malpractice that had come to light during the inspection was non-functioning of electronic chips attached to the milk vending cans. Nearly 5,000 cans were fitted with these electronic chips, the sources added.

The investigation also found that an amount of Rs 30 crore from the milk cooperative’s corpus fund was used to buy these sub-standard products.

According to the vigilance officials, it was crystal clear that corruption had taken place and they are now ascertaining the role played by the former minister.




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