Is free bus scheme a license for corruption: BRS leader Krishank

BRS leader Krishank Manne has raised serious allegations of corruption against the Congress Government concerning the TSRTC ticketing contract. Krishank claimed that the contract for the Automatic Fare Collection System, worth crores of rupees, was awarded to Chalo Mobility without following proper tender procedures. According to him, the TSRTC management’s explanation attempts to cover up these alleged wrongdoings.

Krishank argued that the Mahalaxmi scheme, funded by taxpayers, should not be used to benefit a particular company. “When questioned about RTC ticketing Contract, government mentioned about free bus scheme. Is it a license for corruption?” he asked.He emphasized that while the Hyderabad Metro already uses an Automatic Fare Collection system, the TSRTC’s new contract, which includes zero tickets for women under the Mahalaxmi scheme, benefits Chalo Mobility by ensuring commission from ticket transactions.

Krishank pointed out several discrepancies that demand answers from the Transport Minister Ponnam Prabhakar. He highlighted that the Letter of Intent indicated negotiations were held on March 4th, yet the government claimed that the previous tender was canceled on February 29th. This raises questions about how TSRTC could conclude its decision in just three days. Krishank questioned the specifics of the delegation’s travel, including which states they visited and which officials they met, suggesting that the government had a pre-determined plan to award the contract to Chalo Mobility.

Further, Krishank questioned the tender process itself. While six companies competed in 2022, only three did so in 2024. He asked why a global tender was not called for and why the Telangana State Technical Service, known for handling tenders and procurement, was not utilized. He also pointed out the inconsistency in the government’s approach, noting that even minor contracts are handled through online procurement, while this significant contract was not.

Krishank also criticized the government’s attempt to distance the Transport Minister from the issue, stating that TSRTC, as a corporation merged into the government, involves bureaucrats from the Finance Department on its Board of Directors. He suggested that keeping such a major contract in the dark from the Board also raises suspicions.

Krishank concluded by urging the government to allow a BRS delegation to review the contract documents, bidders’ quotations, high-level committee reports, and travel itineraries to expose the alleged corruption. He stressed the need for transparency and accountability in government actions, especially in schemes benefiting the public.