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Dec 17, 2012 at 03:24pm IST

Irrigation scam: Maharashtra government agrees to conduct SIT probe

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Monday agreed to conduct a SIT probe into the irrigation scam in the state. The team will be headed by water expert Madhav Chitale and modalities will be finalised by December 30.

The announcement was made by Water Resources Minister Sunil Tatkare in the Assembly. Sources say that the team will probe the irrigation projects from the Shiv Sena-BJP tenure.

CNN-IBN had first reported how close to 8000 irrigation projects were pending, and Rs 70,000 crore were spent on these projects over a decade with only a 0.01 per cent increase in irrigated area. NCP leader and deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had held the irrigation portfolio between 1999 and 2009.

According to the documents with CNN-IBN, in the months leading up the state assembly elections in 2009, then irrigation minister Ajit Pawar gave, what sources say are illegal clearances for as many as 32 projects between June and August. The green signal was given without mandatory clearance from the governing council of the VIDC.