While the Maharashtra government is yet to table the probe report of multi-crore irrigation scam, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday claimed that it had accessed the report.
BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis alleged the report blamed Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar for cost escalations in Vidarbha’s irrigation projects, which he cleared in his decade-long tenure as the State’s Irrigation Minister and demanded his resignation.
The BJP also claimed that the report has sought action against top irrigation officials for faulty expenditure control. The report was prepared by water expert and former secretary Madhav Chitale.
Meanwhile, the NCP has rubbished the BJP’s claims. “The report will be tabled in the State Assembly. The truth will be out by then. The BJP is trying to confuse people,” said Nawab Malik, chief spokesperson, NCP.
Mr. Fadnavis claimed that according to the report, the government has added only 12,000 hectares to its irrigation land in the last 10 years, as opposed to the government’s claims of 2.43 lakh hectares. According to the report, Mr. Fadnavis claimed, tenders were awarded for two projects without any environment clearance and for 32 projects without forest clearances.
He said the report pointed to major irregularities by project officers while granting administrative approval (AA). In 28 projects out of 61 projects, which were examined, the AA was granted without finalising the design, which was incomplete, Mr. Fadnavis said.