Mumbai: The four-member committee that was constituted in February to review work on 66 irrigation
projects in Maharashtra will submit its report in May, the State Legislative Assembly was informed here today.
The committee will submit its report to the state government, Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan said in a written reply to a query by Sunil Prabhu (Shiv Sena) and others, in the Lower House.
The panel was set up to specifically investigate 66 projects where work had not yet started, to check whether clearances were granted in line with existing economic, hydrological and environmental norms.
The four-member internal committee of engineers set up by the water resources department is headed by RV Panse, chief engineer with hydro power projects and quality control cell, Pune.
The panel was set up on the interim directions of the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court in a public interest litigation filed by Pradeep Purandare, retired associate professor from the Water and Land Management Institute (WALMI).
The committee was also tasked with probing tender violations with regards to two projects, Kikwi in Nashik and Kanchanpur in Akola, which were cleared when NCP leader Ajit Pawar was Water Resources Minister just before the 2009 Assembly polls.
The court had observed that tenders for the Kikwi project, estimated to cost Rs 500 crore now, were issued more than a month before it got sanction from the government on 26 August, 2009. The tenders for the project were handed over in four days after this on 30 August.
The court order had pointed to 66 projects where work had not started due to lack of environment clearances, protests of farmers, asking the government to review them and only go ahead with those where all norms were met.