THE STATE Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Wednesday filed 14 FIRs against contractors and officials involved in various irrigation projects of Vidarbha, taking the total number of FIRs lodged in the alleged irrigation scam to 38.
The agency has been probing various cases allegedly involving officials of Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) since December 2015.
While seven FIRs were lodged in Nagpur, the rest were registerted in Amravati. The Nagpur Special Investigation Team (SIT) has so far lodged 27 cases and the ACB unit in Amravati 11.
The seven FIRs lodged in Nagpur are in connection to alleged irregularities in the works of Mokhabardi lift irrigation canal, Asolamendga canal, Nerla Pachora lift irrigation canal, Gosikhurd left bank and right bank canals as well as Ghodazari branch canal. The cases lodged in Amravati pertain to Uma, Purna and Dagad Parwa barrages in Akola, Hirdav and Pentakli barrages in Buldhana, Bhagdi barrage (Amravati) and Mahagaon barrage (Yavatmal).
In regard to earthwork, construction and lining of Mokhabardi main canal, the ACB has booked former VIDC officials Shripad Apte, C T Jibhkate, D D Pohekar, Sopan Suryawanshi and D P Shirke on charges of allowing the contractor to elicit illegal benefit despite the firm not submitting registration certificates, a press note issued by Nagpur ACB SP Rashmi Nandedkar said. The FIR in regard to Mokhabardi canal also named the same officials, excluding Shirke. The others booked include former official R R M Landge.
Regarding Asolamendha canal renovation, earthwork, construction and lining work, former officials Gurudas Mandaokar, Sanjay Kholapurkar, Sopan Suryawanshi and D P Shirke were booked for allegedly allowing contractors to elicit illegal benefit despite the firm not having registration certificate and providing out of turn sanctions.
In Nerla, former officials P V Morghade, R P Waikar, D D Pohekar, S R Suryawanshi and R M Landge were booked for illegal updation of tender cost.
For the Gosikhurd right bank canal lining work, the ACB booked former officials V G Gonnade, A K Kokude and Suryawanshi for allegedly facilitating grant of work despite the contractor firms not having registered their joint venture and allowing the contractor to participate in tender despite not qualifying for it. These officials were also booked for similar offences for the Ghodazari work. Others booked in Ghodazari case are G S Mandaokar, Sanjay Kholapurkar, S R Suryawanshi and DP Shirke.
Amravati ACB SP Shrikant Dhivare said that investigation in the Uma barrage case has shown that two companies, Vaishnavi Construction and T B P R Infra Pvt Ltd, furnished “fake work done certificates” to participate in the tender process. “All the directors of the company and then government officials, who helped them to reap illegal benefits, have been booked under IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act,” he added. Former officials named in the FIR are M T Deshmukh, Arun Kokude, Vijay Lole, Narendra Mishra and attorney of the contractors Amar Shande.
In the Purna barrage case, the ACB has booked directors of SMS Infrastructure Ltd and D Thakkar Construction Pvt Ltd for “participating in and winning the bid by submitting fake work done certificate” as well as former officials M T Deshmukh, Sanjiv Kumar and the contractors’ attorney Deepak Deshkar for facilitating the irregularities. For Hirdav and Bhagadi projects, contractors were booked for submitting “fake registration certificates” to win the bid. The ACB also booked former irrigation officials M V Patil, S D Giri, B S Vavre, A M Khapre, S G Rathi and private individual A B Jadhav.
All directors of R J Shah & Comoany and D Thakkar Construction Pvt Ltd were booked in the Dagad Parwa case. A former official, M T Deshmukh, was also booked. In Pentakli, contractor Tanaji Janjire was booked for submitting “fake” work done and registration certificates. In Mahagaon project, ACB has booked contractors B S Mane and S U Kalbhor as well as former officials M E Sheikh, S D Kulkarni, K L Kholapurkar, P B Sonawane and R S Sontakke.
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