ACB will look into corruption allegations in Maharashtra chief minister’s pet project
Chairman of the state legislative Council Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar on Monday directed state water conservation minister Tanaji Sawant to order the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) to investigate allegations of corruption in 1,300 works of the Jalyukt Shivar programme.
Jalyukta Shivar is chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’s pet project which involves deepening and widening of streams, construction of cement and earthen stop dams and farm ponds.
The issue of irregularities was raised by NCP legislator Vidya Chavan through a question in the Council. Another senior NCP MLC Hemant Takle also took on the state and asked if they were brushing the matter under the carpet by not agreeing for a probe by ACB. “The ACB can investigate the allegations levelled in some 1,300 works carried out under Jalyukta Shivar. I direct the water conservation minister to appoint ACB to investigate the matter,” Nimbalkar said.
Takle asked, “Did the minister of state for water resources [Vijay Shivtare] write to the office of agriculture commissioner directing that the irregularities in the Jalyukta Shivar works should not be probed by ACB?” Shivtare attempted to respond to it, but the Opposition did not allow him.
Last week, leader of opposition in the legislative Council Dhananjay Munde had raised the question about irregularities in Purandar tehsil in Pune. In a written reply, Sawant said the ACB, in its secret inquiry, found substance in the complaint. Chavan alleged the irregularities in Purandar tehsil alone are expected to be worth around ₹200 crore. Nimbalkar, in his order, said irregularities in Purandar should be included in the probe.