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Maharashtra orders ‘open inquiry’ by ACB into ‘irregularities’

The Maharashtra authorities on Thursday ordered an open inquiry by the state Anti Corruption Bureau into alleged irregularities in Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan, a water conservation scheme.

As many as 931 works underneath the earlier Devendra Fadnavis authorities’s flagship undertaking will likely be subjected to the open inquiry whereas 396 others will endure a departmental probe.

An “open” inquiry implies that ACB — a wing of the Maharashtra Police — can summon folks for recording statements, name for wage and income-tax return statements and search particulars about movable and immovable property. If it finds sufficient proof, an FIR might be registered underneath the Prevention of Corruption Act or the inquiry might be closed if no proof of corruption is discovered.

Water Conservation Minister Shankarrao Gadakh stated, “The state authorities has accepted the suggestions of the Vijay Kumar committee recommending a probe into irregularities in Jalyukta Shivar works. The ACB will conduct open inquiry into 931 works.”

Fadnavis stated: “The choice to probe Jalyukta Shivar works is welcome. Throughout my tenure, I had ordered investigation into 600 works. Let the details come out.”

“These schemes have been applied and monitored by the district collector’s workplace. Seven departments are concerned within the undertaking. The typical value of every work is between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1.5 lakh,” he added.

The scheme was launched by the Fadnavis authorities in December 2014. The target was to make 25,000 Maharashtra villages freed from drought.

A supply within the authorities stated: “Choices have been to both conduct a discreet probe or an open inquiry by the ACB or order an administrative departmental probe. After some deliberation, the federal government felt an open inquiry by ACB was the best choice.”

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