Babus too were involved in canal scam: Patkar | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Babus too were involved in canal scam: Patkar

Apart from exposing the state’s top politicians including deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and senior BJP and Congress leaders, the income tax assessment documents furnished by Medha Patkar-led NGO National Alliance for People’s Movements (NAPM) have also disclosed the alleged involvement of several senior bureaucrats, including officials from the environment and forests ministry, in receiving speed money from some of the state’s biggest irrigation projects.

mumbai Updated: Apr 20, 2013 02:20 IST
HT Correspondent

Apart from exposing the state’s top politicians including deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and senior BJP and Congress leaders, the income tax assessment documents furnished by Medha Patkar-led NGO National Alliance for People’s Movements (NAPM) have also disclosed the alleged involvement of several senior bureaucrats, including officials from the environment and forests ministry, in receiving speed money from some of the state’s biggest irrigation projects.

The total value of the speed money earned by politicians and officials from the contractors for undertaking work in Ghoshikurd, Tembhu and another unnamed project, add up to almost Rs 200 crore.

When contacted, politicians dismissed Patkar’s charges as baseless.

NAPM made the allegations on Thursday based on an IT assessment report of 2011of Mahalaxmi Infra projects Limited (MIL), one of the big irrigation contractors in the state.

The offices of MIL and residences of its directors were raided between 2009 and 2011 and several documents including diaries were seized.
“Besides top politicians, there are names of several department staffers and other bureaucrats, whose names appeared in the assessment documents. There is a clear nexus between the politicians, government officials and contractors,” said NAPM’s national convener Patkar.

She said some officials from the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) received ‘speed money’ up to Rs 12.5 lakh. The documents also disclosed that a payment of Rs 1.5 crore was made to ‘Kale’ as part of the work of the right bank canal project of the Ghosikhurd.

The state’s irrigation scam including blatant costs escalations of projects and illegalities centre on an unholy officials-contractors-politicians nexus. The allegations led to Pawar’s resignation last year.

Dismissing the charges of earning Rs 27.5 crore as part of the projects, deputy CM Ajit Pawar said: “I do not accept these allegations because I am in no way linked to these dealings. I completely negate these charges levelled by NAPM against me.”
Rejecting the allegation of earning Rs 75 lakh as bribe, former Congress leader Sunil Deshmukh said, “At the time this IT raid was conducted, I was not even in the department.”