The anti-corruption bureau's FIR includes five company executives, also implicated in escalating the cost of the project
Mumbai: Maharashtra’s anti-corruption bureau (ACB) on Tuesday registered a first information report (FIR) against six government officials and five company executives for escalating the cost of the Balganga dam project meant for supply of water to Navi Mumbai, a satellite town of the state capital.
It’s the first step taken by the government in investigating alleged irregularities amounting to ₹ 70,000 crore in implementing irrigation projects during the term of the previous Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government.
In March 2012, the then government, in its economic survey, admitted that despite ₹ 70, 000 crore having been spent in the preceding decade on irrigation projects, the state’s irrigation potential increased only by 0.1%.
In the Navi Mumbai project, the cost escalated from ₹ 488 crore to ₹ 965 crore following a change in its design after it was awarded in 2010 to FA Enterprises.
“Today, I have a huge sense of achievement. The battle which I have been fighting for 3.5 years is finally bearing fruits. FIR has been filed against 5 partners of F.A Constructions and 6 irrigation officials," Anjali Damania, an Aam Aadmi Party leader who has been pursuing the irrigation scandal on various forums, said in a Facebook post.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and its partner the Shiv Sena, which came to power last year, made irrigation a major poll plank in the 2014 Lok Sabha and assembly elections in which they won 42 out of 48 Lok Sabha seats and 185 out of 288 assembly seats.