Water Resources and Energy Minister Ajit Pawar has assured a probe into allegations of corruption in his departments.
Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Eknath Khadse alleged that the Water Resources department had approved higher rates for constructing irrigation canals in . “The rates defy logic because they are double the rates that were approved in Western Maharashtra for similar works,” Khadse said. “This is because of corruption.”
The issue came up during a discussion on supplementary budget demands.
A startled Pawar said the charges were very serious. “I have been handling this department (water resources) for the last 11 years but I did not come across such allegations. The matter will be investigated thoroughly,” Pawar said. He did not elaborate on the nature of probe and who would conduct it.
Khadse said the contractors and officials showed that construction material like soil, sand, water, cement, steel and rubble were ferried to the site from long distances.
“We can prove that most of the material was available close by,” he said.
Khadse had alleged kickbacks in several purchase deals including one with an American company.
Pawar said he was not the head of the department when the deals were finalized but would still commission a probe.
Pawar also assured of a probe into alleged corruption in the state’s three power companies.