While justifying the increase in cost of irrigation projects in the state in its white paper, the water resources department claimed that recommendations by local representatives from various parties had added to the expenses over the past decade.
The department said delays in getting approvals, time taken for land acquisition and changes to the design were also responsible for cost escalation.
The department led by Sunil Tatkare, a senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, said the state had brought more than 12 lakh hectares of land under irrigation and the state’s potential had increased by about 28% as against the alleged 0.1%.
The white paper is expected to be discussed in the Cabinet meeting on Thursday. After getting approved there, the department would make it public ahead of the winter session of the state assembly.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had announced that the government would bring out a white paper after several irrigation scams were reported this year.
Chavan’s then deputy and NCP leader Ajit Pawar had quit because of these allegations.