The Maharashtra government has given a clean chit to Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar in the alleged multi-crore irrigation scam.
The clean chit came late Friday when the state government tabled the report of the Madhav Chitale Committee in the Assembly. It, however, promised action against officials and engineers found responsible for the financial and administrative lapses in irrigation projects across Maharashtra.
The 1,300-page report was tabled along with Action Taken Report by Minister for Water Resources Sunil Tatkare late evening. A 31-page executive summary report on the Chitale Committee was also presented by the government.
While the report states that members and chairman of the governing council of the Irrigation Development Corporation (IDC) should be held responsible for the financial irregularities and violation of rules in irrigation projects, the government has dropped the panel’s recommendation for action, both in its executive summary as well as ATR.
Although the panel has not named any politician, chairman of the IDC’s governing council during the relevant period was Ajit Pawar, who was water resources minister between 1999 and 2009.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan was not present in the Assembly when the report was tabled.
At the outset, the state government has accepted 40 out of the total 42 recommendations made by Madhav Chitale, a water management expert, on major reforms required in the irrigation sector.