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  Metros   Mumbai  04 Nov 2019  Nod for FIRs in irrigation scam pending

Nod for FIRs in irrigation scam pending

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Nov 4, 2019, 3:03 am IST
Updated : Nov 4, 2019, 3:03 am IST

The Nagpur ACB is looking into 302 contracts allotted by the VIDC for 17 irrigation projects.

At least seven requests of the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) seeking criminal cases against senior government officials are pending with the state government.
 At least seven requests of the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) seeking criminal cases against senior government officials are pending with the state government.

Mumbai: The probe in the Maharashtra irrigation scam has seen no progress in the past three months. At least seven requests of the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) seeking criminal cases against senior government officials are pending with the state government.

The requests are allegedly pending with the principal secretary of the state water resources department (WRD).

In order to file cases, the ACB needs an approval of the water resources department’s principal secretary. The officials in question, who are stated to be involved in the `70,000 crore scam, are attached with the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC).

“The proposals for filing FIRs are pending with the water resources department’s principal secretary since August last year. Hence, FIRs in seven contracts allotted by VIDC have not yet been registered,” said an officer of Nagpur unit of state ACB.

The Nagpur ACB is conducting inquiry into 302 contracts allotted by the VIDC for 17 irrigation projects. The anti-graft agency earlier lodged 20 cases against senior officials of the VIDC and contractors in connection with a scam into the Gosikhurd project, which falls under the VIDC and is one of the major irrigation projects in Godavari basin in the state’s Bhandara district on the Wainganga river.

Pawar was among the NCP ministers who were in-charge of the irrigation department at different times between 1999 and 2014 during the Congress-NCP coalition rule in the state. During an inquiry into the Gosikhurd scam, the ACB found major irregularities and lapses in tender process as well as involvement of then engineers, divisional accounts officers of the department, contractors and their partners, a police official earlier said.

The investigation revealed that the government officials had fraudulently upped the cost of the tenders to favour specific contractors and their partners.

Tags: anti-corruption bureau, water resources department