Balganga dam: Maharashtra ACB files FIR against 6 govt officials

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.

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