Velumani rebuts Stalin’s charge

Municipal Administration and Rural Development Minister S.P. Velumani on Saturday refuted the charge levelled by DMK leader M.K. Stalin that there was corruption to the tune of ₹1,000 crore in the procurement of sand for Greater Chennai Corporation projects.

In a statement, Mr. Velumani said tenders were being finalised as per the T.N. Tender Transparency Act. In the years 2017-18 and 2018-19, infrastructure projects worth ₹1,164.85 crore were carried out, involving sand-cement mixture.

Only 33% of the total expenditure was spent on constructions that require cement mixed with sand, which was valued at ₹384.04 crore. M-sand or river sand was just 8.5% of this concrete mixture, meaning only ₹32.67 crore was spent on m-sand and river sand for constructions, he pointed out. Dismissing the claims, he asked: “When the total worth is just ₹32.67 crore, how is it possible that there could be a ₹1,000-crore scam?” He said Mr. Stalin’s statement that m-sand was 50% less expensive than river sand was inaccurate.

Wondering how the Opposition leader, who was a local administration minister earlier, did not know this fact, he said: “Stalin is just lying to gain political mileage”.

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