K-FON project: V D Satheesan demands CBI probe into alleged corruption

VD Satheesan
V D Satheesan. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: Opposition leader V D Satheesan has demanded a probe into the alleged corruption in the LDF government's K-FON project. He argued that the government failed to implement the project even after allotting Rs 1500 crore for it. 

“Only a few connections were given under the project. Earlier, Rs 1000 crore was allotted for it. Later, an additional amount of Rs 500 crore was granted over a letter issued by M Sivasankaran, former principal secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The whole amount is gone. KSEB, a partner of this project has complained of importing substandard cables from China,” he alleged.

In January, the opposition leader had moved a public interest litigation (PIL)before the high court seeking a CBI probe monitored by the court into the implementation of the project. 

In his petition, he alleged favouritism in awarding contracts related to the project. All the tenders had been given to a single beneficiary company linked with LDF, he argued. 

K-FON, the flagship project of the Pinarayi Vijayan government was launched on June 5, 2023. The project aims to provide internet connection to 20 lakh poor families in the state for free and to others at affordable rates. The KFON network would also provide internet connectivity to schools, hospitals, government offices and other public institutions.

Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited (KSITIL) which is in charge of the project had announced that 14,000 households would be given the connectivity in the initial phase. As per the data in September 2023, only 4,000 connections have been given even after one year. Meanwhile, the latest reports claim that the company that assigned to complete the work has withdrawn from the contract due to the non-payment of its bills. 

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