Published On : Tue, Dec 12th, 2017

ACB registers 4 FIRs in Gosikhurd ‘irregularities’

Irrigation Scam
Nagpur: The ACB today registered four FIRs against irrigation department officials and contractors in connection with alleged irregularities in the Gosikhurd irrigation project in east Maharashtra.

The FIRs were registered at Sadar police station in the city against the then engineer, Divisional Accounts Officer besides several other officials of Irrigation department, an official said.

It is, however, not clear whether the irrigation officials booked are serving or have retired from service.

Gosikhurd project is one of the major irrigation projects in Godavari basin in Bhandara district on the river Wainganga.

Maharashtra Home department had asked ACB, Nagpur, to conduct an inquiry into alleged irregularities during award of contracts for the project under Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC).

“It came to fore that contracts were awarded to ineligible contractors and contract value was increased in the project,” ACB SP, Nagpur, said in a press release today.

The FIRs have been registered for irregularities in ‘Mokhaburdi UPSA Lift Irrigation Project, Chikhlapar, Gosikhurdh Left Bank Canal construction work, Mokhaburdi Upsa Lift Irrigation Branch Canal project, Wadala and Gosikhurdh Right Bank Canal project, Jhodjhari, it said.

In May this year, the Nagpur Police booked nine Irrigation department officials, four of who have retired from service, in two different cases of corruption to the tune of Rs 23.31 crore under alleged Gosikhurd irrigation project scam.

Four contractors had also been booked under various sections of the IPC on the complaint lodged against them by the Anti-Corruption Bureau.

Gosikhurd is the inter-district irrigation project in Vidarbha which was approved in March 1983 at an estimated cost of Rs 372.22 crore and was expected to be completed by March 1990. However, it remains incomplete even after 33 years after the approvals were granted.

It is alleged that the project costs have escalated manifold over a period of time.

The ACB in September 2016 filed a chargesheet against six former officials in a Nagpur court for alleged fraud and corruption in the inter-district irrigation project.

A report of the Public Accounts Committee had noted that after 33 long years and spending thousands of crores, the purpose of commissioning the project is not realised yet.