The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has launched an investigation into allegations of money laundering against various corporations of Maharashtra Irrigation Department in connection with alleged irregularities in 12 projects under Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation. This information was given by people who knew about the event.
An ED official said that the agency has issued tenders, revised administrative approvals for the dam projects from officials of the Water Resources Department and contractors associated with Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation, Krishna Valley Irrigation Project and Konkan Irrigation Development Corporation between 1999 and 2009. Has sought information about the payment of bills incurred.
This investigation may increase Ajit Pawar’s troubles as irregularities were revealed in the department in 2012. Pawar was the Minister of Water Resources from 1999 to 2009. In December last year, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) gave a clean chit in the matter to the Deputy Chief Minister.
an affidavit was filed in the High Court on November 27 in this regard. The next day, on 28 November, Mahavikas Aghadi formed his government in the state. The Uddhav Thackeray-led government has ordered an inquiry into the Jalyukt Shivhar Abhiyan, a water conservation project by former state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The ED may initiate an inquiry against Pawar at a time when the Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police has given a clean chit to Pawar and others in a Rs 25,000-crore Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank case in connection with the irregularities. In this case EOW filed a closure report last month. The ED has opposed EOW’s move in court.
Pawar, who was visiting flood-affected areas of Solapur and Pune districts on Saturday, declined to comment on the ED’s investigation and said that orders for investigation in Jalyukt Shivhar have not been given due to any kind of malice. . He told reporters, ‘Some cabinet ministers raised the issue that if the CAG itself raised questions on it (Jalyukta Shivhar), the ambitious project on which crores of rupees were spent should be investigated. Therefore, the Chief Minister has ordered a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate it.