The state government is likely to audit “Jalyukta Shivar” and if irregularities come to notice, the cases will be handed over to the anti-corruption bureau for investigation, sources said. A source in the state government told The Indian Express: “Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s district tour across Maharashtra to review the ongoing Jalyukta Shivar projects has served two major objectives. While ensuring the work progress personally, he has conveyed a strong message that there cannot be any excuse or compromise in quality or financial irregularities.”
A senior secretary in the water conservation department said: “Since the launch of the project, we have received only six to seven cases of poor work or financial irregularities. But the directive from the chief minister is to prove each issue that is highlighted and take stern action against those responsible.”
A couple of weeks ago, senior Shiv Sena minister Ramdas Kadam had highlighed a water conservation project where an expenditure of Rs 10 crore had been shown without any ground work. The case is under investigation. If there are irregularities found, the matter is likely to be handed over to the ACB. The CM has toured almost all critical drought-prone districts across Vidarbha, Marathwada, North Maharashtra, Western Maharashtra and Konkan and more than 100 Jalyukta Shivar projects have been inspected.
An officer said: “A mechanism to audit Jalyukta Shivar work in multiple parameters is underway. Apart from working on the status of projects, water storage potential and irrigation potential, focus is on work quality and expenditure.”
Although manipulations are not ruled out, district collectors indicated that they have drawn up a chart complete with the expected expenditure for each project. Every project’s image are geo-tagged. So, if there are shortcomings, it can be easily found and the responsibility fixed. In the past two years, 3,35,725 projects have been completed with an expenditure of Rs 4,500 crore. During his tour at Sangli district of western Maha-rashtra, the CM had come across village police personnel joining the people in Jalyukta Shivar work. The police department has contributed Rs 27 lakh for Sukjkarta Cement Nulla Bandh at Mallewadi Ramnagar village in Sangli.