The Maharashtra government has scrapped 94 tenders on Tuesday, which were awarded in 14 controversial irrigation projects after being probed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in Konkan, Vidarbha and Nashik.
This decision was taken at a cabinet meeting, which was chaired by the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Moreover, all these projects were further reassigned through some “transparent orders” to new contractors, with the directives to complete the work a time-bound manner.
Twelve tenders have been scrapped in the Konkan region, while one of the contract in Nashik and 81 in Vidarbha has stand cancelled.
All irrigation works in the Vidarbha region, which was related to the Gosikhurd National Irrigation Project that has been languishing for 32 years. The project has invited serious strictures for the substandard work and failure to complete the rehabilitation process.
Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis
CM said that, the government will not protect anybody who is found violating norms. Following the ACB investigation, it was further noticed that the contractors had stalled work in the respective projects awarded to them, he said.
In December 2015, ACB has received an order by ACB to probe the 14 irrigation projects where the alleged financial irregularities were committed during the Congress-NCP regime.
The irrigation projects under the ACB scanner were also approved during the tenure of the former water resources ministers Ajit Pawar and Sunil Tatkare of the NCP.
Sources in the irrigation department said that, most contractors got away because of the “patronage” provided to them by the political leadership.
The water resources ministry will be reworking on the contracts on merit, and each work order will make it compulsory to set a timeline for its completion.
All pending works which are below Rs 1 crore and which site engineers find after assessment can be completed by contractors within two months, will be retained.
It was felt that re-issuing work orders in ongoing projects worth less than Rs 1 crore would lead to greater time loss and further delay.