In an open letter dated September 30, Purandare, who held training sessions with state irrigation engineers and officials, has asked his former students and colleagues to not succumb to political pressure and speak up against malpractices.
“You will all admit that the issues raised by Pandhare regarding construction of dams are not wrong. In fact, all of you during training sessions have mentioned most of these issues to me. There is evidence of wrongdoing in one project after another. It’s an open secret. But, for various reasons like better appointments, personal success, family concerns, we have kept quiet,” the letter states.
Purandare told HT that any white paper brought out by the government would be a farce as the information available through irrigation status reports (ISRs) is misleading and incomplete.
The former professor, who has scrutinised ISRs from 2005 to 2011, said, “In the absence of water auditing, the rampant conversion of irrigation land to non-irrigation use, incomplete canal works, and water theft, the figures put forward by the department on irrigation potential created are faulty.”