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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dayanidhi Maran has 323 telephone lines in Chennai

Dayanidhi Maran was the Central Telecom Minister from June 2004 to May 2007.

He got the BSNL to connect 323 telephone lines to his home, not in Delhi where he had work, but in Chennai where he had none. He got all the 323 home lines listed not in his name but in the name of the Chief General Manager BSNL Chennai. These lines virtually constituted a telephone exchange in the minister's home.
It was exclusively used for his family business by laying (separate and exclusive underground cable from his Boat Club home to the SUN TV office at Anna Arivalayam in Anna Salai )3.4 km long secret cable along public roads to connect the lines to the business premises and fraudulently linked the 323 home lines to his brother Kalanidhi's SUN TV network.
The first 23 of the 323 lines bore numbers '243722 11' to '24372301' and the next 300 lines bore numbers '24371500' to '24371799'.
Since the first four digits '2437' were common for all 323 lines, the lines constituted a home telephone exchange. The Dayanidhi home exchange was operational in the SUN TV establishment for at least months from January 2007 through the fraudulent cable connection from Dayanidhi's Boat Club home.
They were no ordinary telephone lines, but costly ISDN lines "normally used by medium to large commercial enterprises to meet special needs such as video conferencing, transmission of huge volume of digital data of audio and video"
 What could be the probable loss to the exchequer by this fraud? 
CBI says, "it is learnt that 48,72,027 units of calls have emanated from [just] one Telephone No 24371515 in the month of March 2007 alone, which is indicative of the massive multimedia transfer in the underlying connections". Just one of the 323 lines accounted for over 48 lakh call units in March 2007 alone – Yes almost 49 lakh call units in one month, through one of the 323 phones! Assume that each of the 323 connections was put to use as efficiently as Marans had operated the Number 24371515; the total number of call units SUN TV would have unlawfully robbed the BSNL during January 2007 to April 2007 [Maran resigned on May 13] could be as high as 629.5 crore call units. With the prevailing rate of 70 paise per call unit could the loss to BSNL be as high as 440 crore?

The CBI had recommended action against Maran as early as in September 2007.
But the CBI letter is obviously sleeping somewhere since then, and for the last 44 months. The CBI letter had specifically asked the Telecom Secretary to bring the matter "to the notice of" Raja
Only a thorough investigation can reveal the true loot.

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