HC notice to Orissa on 'irrigation scam'
Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has issued
notice to the state government for reply to a PIL seeking a
judicial probe into alleged multi-crore water scam involving
cost overrun of irrigation projects of Rs 3537 crore.
Taking cognisance of the PIL filed by an advocate of
the HC, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice V Gopala
Gowda and Justice B N Mohapatra yesterday issued notice asking
the state government to file its counter within two weeks.
Advocate Srikant Padhi quoting from 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 also issued notices to other
respondents in the PIL, including Union Water Resources
The petitioner has urged the HC to constitute a
special investigation team (SIT) headed by either a retired
judge of the Supreme Court or High Court under the Commission
of Enquiry Act to investigate into the alleged frauds.
The petitioner claimed that Orissa irrigation
department had undertaken construction of as many as 33
projects under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit (AIB) programme
but completed only nine of them during last 12 years while
the remaining projects are in limbo.