Telangana’s Anganwadi Eggs Scam… a big wakeup call by Tolivelugu!
In a shocking scenario, a big scam has emerged in KCR’s scheme of providing quality eggs in Anganwadi centres across the state to children and young mothers who have just delivered. It was alleged that the contract was in the hands five companies, who have formed a ‘cartel’ for supplying eggs to the Anganwadi centres. Poor quality eggs were being procured from other states and by getting insider information on the scheme, doors were wide open for the scam ultimately affecting the state’s exchequer and the needy children and young women, who are having infants to take care in the Anganwadi centres.
Crime Bureau, Tolivelugu: Now this is the news! Tolivelugu brought out an investigating story on 12th December 2022 stating that while KCR, through a new scheme, wanted to provide nutritious food at the Anganwadi centres for the benefit of needy children and also for young mothers who have new born babies…the welfare department used to bribes has given the contract to a ‘cartel’ undermining the efforts and aspirations of small and medium ranged egg suppliers of the state. It was alleged that the eggs supplied were of lesser weight and quality. A complete story was placed in the public domain by Tolivelugu. Though the Honorable High Court orders were in place, there is no effort or initiative to stop the ‘scam tenders’ ultimately resulting in loss for the state exchequer to the tune of Rs.50 crores as additional burden. There are allegations that this scam is also as in the lines of liquor scam.
The success of ‘negotiations’ of the ‘cartel’ of 5 companies to provide eggs to the Anganwadi centres was a foregone conclusion. The Honorable High Court has taken up the case of awarding the tender to the ‘cartel’ of 5 corporate companies, while keeping aside the contention of about 170 farmers. Through interim orders permissions were given to complete the tendering process. There after orders were in place to keep up the status quo till final orders were issued. Though fully aware of the pros and cons of the entire process and without any respect to the Honorable High Court, the tenders were awarded to Nithisha Farms, J V Farms, Rajitha Poultry, Srinivasa Poultry and Siri Farms as per the earlier understanding.
Nithisha Farms and J V Farms belong to Sanjeeva Reddy, President, NECC and these companies have secretly got the tenders in their favour by quoting the price of each egg as Rs.5.67. As this was the case, in Gadwal zone there was a re-tender for one mandal, where in Balreddy Hatcheries has quoted the price of each egg 59 paise lesser. In addition, for many time, local poultry farmers have approached the concerned authorities with memorandums stating that they would be ready to supply the eggs for a lesser price. It was alleged that offers were in place to the effect that the minister was assured of 20 paise ‘commission’ on each egg supplied. Putting aside all this, the tenders were awarded to the corporate companies under the guise of AGMARK Certification and an excess amount of about Rs.50 crores is already being paid as of now.
The Telangana State Government has come out with novel schemes to protect and develop the poultry industry, which include schemes like subsidized poultry feed, extending subsidies to new farms and arranging bank loans to poultry farmers with lesser interest rates. Thanks to the modern methods of poultry farming, each egg weighs more than 50 grams. While this was the ground reality, in Telangana, tenders were called for the supply of eggs to the Anganwadi centres, with specifications that each egg should be of 45 grams only, thus paving the way for the egg suppliers of other states, with lesser price coupled with lesser weight of each egg; to enter Telangana market largely effecting the Telangana poultry market leading to market crash as there was no demand in the market for larger size eggs. The ultimate losers are state’s poultry farmers.
Earlier, when Tolivelugu reached out to the concerned minister on Eggs scam, the response was lukewarm. The members of the Federation are demanding for an enquiry through the vigilance commission as that would be the only way to get justice to the poultry farmers of the state. Tolivelugu always propagates the thought that it should be the duty and responsibility of everyone to protect the state’s exchequer.