The Orissa high court has sought responses from the state government on a PIL seeking a judicial probe into an alleged multi-crore water scam involving cost overrun in irrigation projects.
Taking cognisance of the PIL filed by an advocate of the HC, a division bench comprising chief justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice BN Mohapatra yesterday issued the notice asking the government to file its reply within two weeks.
Advocate Srikant Padhi quoting from the CAG report of 2009 alleged in his petition that mismanagement of funds, including excess payment to irrigation contractors till October 2009 was reported to be over Rs 800 crore in the project costing Rs 3537 crore.
The court also issued notices to other respondents in the PIL, including Union Water Resources Ministry.
The petitioner had urged the court to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) headed by either a retired judge of the Supreme Court or high court to investigate into the alleged fraud.
The petitioner claimed that Orissa irrigation department had undertaken construction of as many as 33 projects under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit (AIB) programme but completed only nine of them during the last 12 years while the remaining projects are in limbo.