Maha BJP divided over white paper on irrigation `scam`?

Last Updated: Saturday, October 6, 2012 - 19:52

Mumbai: Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council Vinod Tawde on Saturday demanded setting up of a special committee to draft contents of white paper on the status of irrigation projects, days after his senior and BJP leader Gopinath Munde raised the pitch for CBI probe.

"State government should set-up a three-member committee comprising secretaries of various departments, excluding the irrigation department, and the committee should prepare the white paper on irrigation," Tawde told a press conference.

Tawde`s demand comes a couple of days after Munde went public for CBI investigation in the irrigation "scam".

"Simply tabling a white paper on irrigation will not serve the purpose. We want investigation by CBI in the irrigation scam. Rs 72,000 crore was spent on irrigation projects, but only one percent increase is seen (in irrigation potential)," Munde had said.

Pushing his argument for excluding irrigation department in preparing the white paper, Tawde said, "If the government comes out with a white-paper, it will only be an eyewash and the real truth will not come out before people".

On the meeting between Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar on October 4, Tawde said, "In order to protect his chair the chief minister will come out with the white paper".

Ajit Pawar while stepping down as the deputy chief minister had appealed for expediting the process to bring out the white paper, the announcement for which was made by Chavan in May.

Tawade said he has written a letter to Chavan listing demands that he wanted to be included while drafting the white paper.

The document should include details of the irrigation projects. The comparison between initial project costs and the revised cost should be mentioned (in White Paper) and also the causes for cost escalation," he said.

"Details of year-wise and project-wise irrigation potential created for Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme projects in comparison to the commitment for area of irrigation potential by the state government to the Centre be also listed in white paper," Tawde demanded.

He also wanted the inclusion of those projects for which administrative approval has been granted.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, October 6, 2012 - 19:51

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