The BJP on Friday alleged that the irrigation department had flouted norms in clearing the Rs 273-crore Kikvi irrigation project to improve water supply in Nashik.
As per the rules,before floating tenders for any project you need to have the approval of the Cabinet and governor. However,in the case of Kikvi,the tenders were floated on July 13 while the approval from the Cabinet was received a month later on August 26, senior BJP leader Vinod Tawde alleged.
Tawde claimed that the project had been awarded to a Bandra-based company Revasa Construction and a mobilisation amount valued at 10 per cent of the project cost was also given to it. The project was cleared in a hurry. All the rules of tendering were violated. The project is yet to get environmental clearance and has not begun,still the mobilisation amount was paid, he said.
The BJP has demanded that the project be re-tendered and all officials involved be suspended. The party also alleged that Apok Jamir,son of former Maharashtra Governor S C Jamir,had recommended that then superintendent engineer of Akola irrigation circle S D Kulkarni should not transferred. He reportedly wrote to the then CM Ashok Chavan in June 2009 asking him to stop Kulkarnis transfer. Kulkarni is one of the 45 officials against whom the government has now ordered a probe.
The state has been plagued by allegations of large scale corruption in irrigation projects for almost three years now. The Opposition has claimed that in the past decade nearly Rs 70,000 crore worth of irrigation projects were announced but the states irrigation potential has increased by just 0.1 per cent.
Most of these alleged irregularities were limited to Vidarbha,Konkan and Western Maharashtra. However,projects from North Maharashtra are also now coming under the scanner.
Kikvi is a tributary of the Godavari and runs through Trimbakeshwar. The project was planned to take the load off Gangapur dam that supplies water to Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC)
The project is expected to come up on 933 hectares,of which environmental clearance is required for 172 hectares
The state and NMC are keen to complete the project before the Kumbh Mela in 2015
Issues Raised by BJP
Tender notice was issued on July 13,2009
The Cabinet approval for project was given on August 26 while the Governor gave the nod on August 14,2009
The BJP claims that approval from the Cabinet should have come before the tender was floated
Former Governors kin wrote commendatory letters for irrigation scam accused,says BJP