The DMK has accused Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, who also holds the highways and road portfolios, of awarding multi-crore tenders for highway and road expansion projects to firms owned by his relatives. In a complaint, filed with the vigilance and anti-corruption director, DMK MP and party’s organising secretary R S Bharathi claimed that though the estimated cost for the four-lane Oddanchatran-Dharapuram-Avinashipalayam project was Rs 713 crore, it was increased to Rs 1,515 crore. He claimed the actual cost of the project wouldn’t have exceeded over Rs 200 crore if the market norms and cost increase/ inflation were considered.
He said the project was awarded to a firm owned by a private contractor Ramalingam, who is a close relative of Palaniswami’s son Mithun Kumar. Bharathi also questioned the four laning of Tirunelveli-Sengottai-Kollam state highway, the cost for which was revised from Rs 407 crore to Rs 720 crore, besides an additional cash grant of Rs 180 crore. He said the project was given to a firm owned by P Subramaniam, who is Mithun’s father-in-law.