The Orissa High Court on Tuesday took cognizance of a PIL in which it was alleged of a huge water scam in the State. The PIL filed by an advocate of the HC had also sought a judicial probe into the costs overrun of irrigation projects amounting to whopping Rs. 3,537 crore.

A Division Bench the HC comprising Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice B N Mohapatra taking note of the PIL issued notice to the State government asking it to file its counter within two weeks.

Mumbai-based advocate SrikantPadhi quoting extensively from the CAG report of 2009 alleged in his petition that mismanagement of funds, including excess payment to irrigation contractors till October 2009 was reported to be over Rs 800 crore.

The High Court has also issued notices to other respondents in the PIL, including the Union water resources ministry which has been arrayed as an opposite party in the petition, informed the petitioner-advocate Padhi.