Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Saturday admitted that there is confusion over the quantum of irrigated land created in Maharashtra over the past 10 years.
While the state economic survey puts the figure at 0.01%, a white paper recently published by the state government pegs it at 5.17%.
Chavan said the state would soon refer the matter to Central Water Commission, to ascertain the truth behind the contesting claims. “The figure assessed by the state economic survey for the last 10 years can’t be true,” the CM said, while speaking to reporters in Nagpur on Saturday.
His statement indicates that the stalemate between him and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which has been in charge of the water resources department for 13 years, continues.
Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, who recently returned to the state cabinet using the white paper on irrigation as his defense, is unlikely to take the CM’s comments well.
HT had reported on Saturday that there are differences between the allies over the nature of the probe to be conducted into a possible scam relating to funds spent on irrigation in the state.
The NCP has maintained throughout that there has been no wrongdoing, rubbishing the 0.1 % figure as a ‘printing error’.