Published On : Tue, Aug 30th, 2016

Major move: State scraps 94 tenders of scam-hit irrigation projects

irrigation project

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In a major decision of far reaching consequences, the Maharashtra Government on Tuesday cancelled 94 tenders of 14 irrigation projects, most of them pertaining to Vidarbha’s Gosikhurd project, over corruption charges. All these cancelled tenders of different irrigation projects are being probed by State Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for massive irregularities and corruption in tendering process.

The 94 cancelled tenders include 81 tenders of Gosikhurd irrigation project in Vidarbha, 12 in Konkan region and one tender in Marathwada.

An open enquiry is being conducted by ACB in the tenders of Gosikhurd irrigation project. The Wadnere Committee had found holes in determining the tenders.

A decision to this effect was taken during a meeting of the State Cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Reports said that the irrigation projects were scrapped as they are under investigation by the State ACB. Financial irregularities were reportedly conducted in these scrapped irrigation projects during the Congress-NCP Government between 1999-2014.

Big relief to onion producing farmers:
In a big relief to draught-hit farmers, the Cabinet also decided to a grant of Rs 100/quintal to onion producing farmers of the State. As per the decision, farmers who sold their onion produce in APMCs from July 1, 2016 to August 16, 2016 will be eligible to avail this grant. Each farmer will get the relief for up to 200 quintals of their onion produce.

Earlier in June, the Maharashtra Government had decided to fast-track 98 ongoing irrigation projects in six of the suicide-prone districts in Vidarbha region. The list of projects included the controversial Gosikhurd National Irrigation Project.

Several parts of the State, especially Vidarbha, have been severely hit by drought this year. In May, the state Government had sought additional relief package of over Rs 2,000 crore from the Centre to tackle the drought situation. The State Government had also declared as many as 29,000 villages as drought hit in the state. Most of these villages were in Marathavada and Vidarbha regions.