Inflated costs may stall irrigation projects

Reckless approval of cost escalations to irrigation projects under the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) granted by the then irrigation minister and present deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has not only lead to the corporation facing a financial crunch but also raised the needle of suspicion of wrongdoing.

As irrigation minister from 2004, Pawar was also the chairman of the VIDC. Papers with TOI reveal that there are several instances of escalation of as high as 200% without any justification. Pawar has been succeeded in irrigation department by another NCP man Sunil Tatkare after Prithviraj Chavan took over in November.

Insiders say that Pawar and the then executive director DP Shirke did not bother about the state's capacity to pay and took decisions unilaterally. It is now apprehended that the VIDC will be facing a major funds crisis as the allocation from the state will be far too less compared to the cost approved. There are possibilities that the contractors may stall work for want of money, pushing projects beyond schedule and hampering irrigation in this farm-crisis ridden region.....................Click for more



Source Web Page: Times Of India

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