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Maha govt announces SIT to probe irrigation scam

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 1, 2013 - 09:04

Mumbai: Maharashtra government late Monday announced a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by leading water expert Madhav Chitale to probe into the alleged multi-crore irrigation scam.

The committee will also comprise of three retired bureaucrats and would submit its report in six months.

The announcement of setting up the SIT was made by Water Resources Minister Sunil Tatkare in the legislative council in Nagpur.

The terms of reference of the SIT and the appointment of members were to be finalised by December 31.

Accordingly, the names of members and the terms of reference were announced by the government tonight.

Apart from Chitale, the committee includes former ACS (Finance) A K D Jadhav, former irrigation secretary V M Ranade and former Agriculture commissioner Krishna Lavhekar.
The committee will be headquartered in Aurangabad and they will submit their report to the government in six months.

The scam, which came to the fore during Ajit Pawar`s ministership, was pertaining to various irregularities which led to cost and time over run.

Opposition`s demand for SIT probe paralysed the proceedings of the state legislature recently as they claimed that the white paper released by the government on November 29 on irrigation sector was a white-wash.
On the other hand, NCP said that white paper and the subsequent two documents released by it clearly show that the irrigation potential rose by 5.17 per cent and not by 0.1 per cent as observed by the Economic Survey.

The white paper also gave a clean chit to Ajit Pawar who had resigned on September 25 following expose on irrigation scam rejoined on December 7.

The committee will go into the details of examining the irrigated potential and actual irrigated land, reasons for the low actual irrigated area, reasons for cost escalations, delaying completion of pending projects, and suggesting measures for improving the irrigation sector.


First Published: Tuesday, January 1, 2013 - 09:04
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