The Maharashtra ACB sought permission from the state government to conduct an open inquiry against Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and state NCP chief Sunil Tatkare following a complaint by an activist who has alleged corruption in 12 irrigation projects.
Besides the two top NCP leaders, social activist Pravin Wategaonkar has also sought inquiry against several public servants of Konkan Irrigation Development Corporation (KIDC).
“We have today referred Wategaonkar’s complaint to the state government and sought permission to conduct an open inquiry against Pawar, Tatkare and others,” a top Anti-Corruption Bureau officer said speaking on condition of anonymity.
In his complaint to ACB, Wategaonkar has alleged that more than three contracts were awarded to the companies belonging to a particular group over the past decade in violation of the rules that prescribe a maximum of three contracts to a contractor or joint venture company.
The complainant has alleged that Pawar and Tatkare during their stint as Water Resources Minister along with officials of the KIDC had allegedly favoured that group. He has alleged there were irregularities in awarding tenders to the companies belonging to the group and approving various demands of the contractors which resulted in losses to the public exchequer and were contrary to public interest.
Going against the rules, the projects were started without land acquisition, forest clearances and rehabilitation of the project affected persons, the complainant alleged.
These acts of commission and omission led to delays and price escalation in most projects, he claimed.
Noting that a total of 12 contracts were awarded to the group in the last one decade, Wategaonkar demanded a thorough investigation.
Maharashtra government had in June tabled in the state assembly the report of Madhav Chitale committee which had gone into alleged scam in execution of irrigations projects. The panel too had highlighted such irregularities.