‘Won’t be responsible for cost hike’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘Won’t be responsible for cost hike’

mumbai Updated: Aug 14, 2013 10:06 IST
Surendra Gangan

Having learnt their lessons from the earlier irrigation scam, babus in the state government have made it clear that they will not shoulder the responsibility of further cost escalation of irrigation projects.

The state Cabinet has now appointed a special committee headed by finance minister to review the rise in cost and allot the additional funds.

The state government has submitted a proposal for allocation of funds for medium-sized irrigation projects on 250-600 hectares in Marathwada in central Maharashtra to the governor.

Asking why the allocation of the funds for the projects from Vidarbha has been ignored after their costs escalated, ministers from the region have objected to it.

Ministers Nitin Raut and RR Patil, on Tuesday, said that the irrigation projects in Vidarbha had come to a halt as the government was delaying the release of funds under the Revised Administrative Approval.

Rural development department minister and former finance minister Jayant Patil said that the approval to the existing projects was given by the Expenditure Priority Committee (EPC) headed by the finance minister.

He was told that as the EPC does not exist anymore, the proposals were sent to the Cabinet.

An officer from the finance department then apprised the Cabinet that the officers were not willing to shoulder the responsibility after the irrigation scam controversy, in which the bureaucrats were held guilty.

Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, who also heads the finance department, backed the bureaucrats and said that it would not be proper to shift the responsibility on to the officers.

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan then asked for a proposal to set up a special committee.

Meanwhile, ministers from the Vidarbha region claimed that while the government was moving special proposals for the budgetary provisions for projects in Marathwada, the incomplete irrigation projects in Vidarbha are being neglected.