Huge scam in Praja Palana applications?

The public who submitted Praja Palana applications in Hyderabad have fallen victim to deceit orchestrated by corrupt officials within the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).

Evidently, the applications received were not fully computerized, paving the way for a scheme of extortion in collusion with external agencies. Shockingly, approximately 40,000 out of 1 lakh applications lacked proper computerized records, yet bills were processed, and funds amounting to Rs. 12 crores were disbursed. Consequently, due to irregularities at the application stage, deserving residents were deprived of welfare schemes.

Over 19 lakh Praja Palana applications were submitted in the city for six guarantees. In addition, 5.7 lakh applications were given for new ration cards, taking the total to around 25 lakhs. Deputy Commissioners were entrusted with this responsibility, with a directive to allocate Rs. 12 per application for digitization. While some officials executed the task transparently, others resorted to manual methods.

Irregularities were most prevalent in the Charminar, Khairatabad, and LB Nagar zones, where applications were not properly uploaded into the system, yet bills were generated, and payments made to agencies. Notably, nearly all applicants sought enrollment in the free electricity scheme for consumption below 200 units.

However, a discrepancy emerged between the number of applications received and the details provided by the government and electricity departments. Though 19 lakh people applied for the 200 units free electricity scheme, only details of 11 lakh individuals have been forwarded to the electricity department.

In the Charminar zone alone, among 508,772 applications, several agencies, including SV Projects, Joy-E, VJS, and Homit, profited through fraudulent billing practices. An internal investigation uncovered that half of the applications in the zone lacked proper computerization. It was revealed that agency administrators concocted fake bills using data from computerized applications.