Irrigation scam: Maharashtra govt forms SIT under water expert Madhav Chitale

Prithviraj Chavan

The Water Resources Department presented a white paper to the state Cabinet about spending over the irrigation projects in last decade which blamed delays in land acquisition, rehabilitation issues for cost and time over-runs. It did not ascertain if there were any irregularities in award of contracts and paved the way for Ajit Pawar's return to the state Cabinet. In fact, the white paper stated that rate contracts were much lower as compared by other agencies like BMC and adjoining states.

Questions were raised regarding work done by the irrigation department after an Economic Survey Report indicated that only 0.01 per cent addition area had been brought under irrigation over the last one decade, despite a spending of Rs 70,000 crore. The WR department had said that 5.17 per cent area had been brought under irrigation, following which Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan promised to bring out a "white paper" over irrigation projects.

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