The White Paper presented before the cabinet on Thursday would be uploaded onto the government’s website. It had stated there was no irregularity in the implementation of 38 irrigation projects in Vidarbha region, despite a multi-fold increase in cost and time overrun.
The state cabinet may also explore an option of carrying out a judicial probe into the implementation of 38 irrigation projects in Vidarbha, a senior minister on Thursday said on condition of anonymity. The state cabinet was yet to discuss the white paper and give approval. This and a judicial probe could delay Pawar’s cabinet reentry. NCP ministers have said they will oppose a judicial probe.
At the cabinet meeting, water resources minister Sunil Tatkare, who presented the white paper, said he had already replied twice in the state legislature to the opposition sponsored debate on the alleged irrigation scam. The actual rise in irrigation potential during 2001 and 2010 has been 28 per cent and there was 72 per cent increase in the land under irrigation, he added.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said the white paper had a special chapter on the future of Maharashtra’s irrigation sector and how more irrigation potential can be increased.