Police protection for irrigation scam 'whistle-blower'



Nashik: Water Resources department Chief engineer and member of the state-level technical advisory committee, Vijay Pandhare, who wrote to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan about alleged irregularities in irrigation projects has been given police protection.

The development comes in the wake of the resignation of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar -- who also held the water resources portfolio earlier -- following allegations that he granted administrative approvals of thousands of crore for irrigation projects by flouting norms.

Pandhare was provided security cover last night, within hours of Pawar announcing his resignation, DCP (Nashik city) Sahebrao Patil said.

Pandhare had written to Governor K Sankaranarayanan and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, drawing their attention to the "poor quality" of irrigation projects, inflated budget and irregularities in purchase of materials.

"I have drawn the government's attention to violation of norms and pointed out faults in the projects," Pandhare, a member of the Maharashtra Engineering Research Institute and chief of Maharashtra Engineering Training Academy, said.

Meanwhile, supporters of social activist Anna Hazare have backed Pandhare and assured him of their cooperation.

PTI