L&T deny paying kickbacks for Hyderabad Metro Rail project

Hyderabad, Nov 7 (IANS) India's leading construction group Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has denied allegations that it paid any kickbacks for Hyderabad Metro Rail project.

Reacting to allegations by some politicians that L&T paid money to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, a top company official said no money was handed over to anybody.

V. B. Gadgil, chief executive and managing director, L&T Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd (LTMRHL), rubbished the allegations made by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao.

He said no transaction of any nature took place during tendering or afterwards to anyone involved.

"No money has been handed over. No exchange of money took place unsolicited or in any manner," Gadgil told reporters here Thursday.

"This is not our culture. L&T is a national company well known for its ethics, professional and business attitude. We work all over the country and we are in the business for more than 75 years. We take pride that we are prime institution in construction and engineering," he said.

L&T is building a 72-km elevated Metro Rail project at a cost of Rs.14,132 crore, which is said to be one of the biggest projects in the world in Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.

Gadgil also clarified that no additional land was given to them.

"Not a single cent of additional land was given to us as favour. This project is governed by concession agreement and we thoroughly follow that agreement," he said and pointed out that many globally reputed companies participated in the tendering process.

N.V.S. Reddy, Managing Director, Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd (HMRL) said all documents were available for public scrutiny.

"We have courage of conviction. We have not done anything wrong. We are prepared to face inquiry," he said and alleged that some vested interests were trying to distract them.

Reddy said out of 212 acres required at depots, the government handed over 210 acres. The project also required 57 acres at metro stations but only 34.5 acres could be given. He said remaining land was being handed over at two alternate locations.

TRS chief had Tuesday demanded an immediate halt to the project. He claimed to have specific information that Kiran Reddy was recipient of hundreds of crores of rupees from L&T as kickbacks in return for allotment of land for the project.

He had also said that after the creation of Telangana state, a probe would be ordered into the irregularities and action would be taken.

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