Maharashtra irrigation scam: Arvind Kejriwal to release black paper



Zeenews Bureau

Mumbai: In response to the White Paper on irrigation over the past decade prepared by Maharashtra's Water Resources Department (WRD), anti-corruption activist turned politician Arvind Kejriwal will release an exhaustive "Black Paper" on Sunday.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor will release the Black Paper in Roha, Raigad district, the stronghold of Maharashtra Irrigation Minister Sunil Tatkare.

"The black paper has been prepared after studying and analysing data from various sources such as WRD, Central Water Commission, Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Government of Maharashtra and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development," a party release had said on Thursday.

"The findings show that the Maharashtra water resource department's tall claims about the area brought under irrigation are manipulative and entirely contradictory," added the release.

"This black paper exposes the farcical exercise of the Maharashtra water resource department's white paper and proves how bogus an attempt of face-saving it is, largely on account of coalition political compulsions," it said.

The black paper illustrates what a genuine white paper on irrigation over the past decade should have ideally been like and the issues that really ought to have been addressed, it said.

It illustrates that the figures relating to the area brought under irrigation, as claimed in the white paper, is a blatant attempt to mislead everyone since the fact that this increase in area brought under irrigation is a result of irrigation due to wells, bore wells, drip irrigation, lift irrigation and not just due to dams and canals for which the WRD has made huge expenditure, the release said.

The most important aspect of the black paper is its exposing the modus operandi of how the irrigation scam was perpetuated by the politician-bureaucrat-contractor nexus, it said.

A white paper on irrigation, which claimed 28 percent increase in irrigation potential in Maharashtra in the last 10 years, was presented at the state Cabinet meeting on Thursday night.

(With PTI inputs)