Mumbai: Nod to 5 irrigation projects under lens

Mumbai: In a first major decision, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government on Wednesday decided to review the revised administrative approval given by the erstwhile BJP government to five irrigation projects worth Rs 6144 crore.

The state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has concluded that CM Devendra Fadnavis’ cabinet had granted its approval to these projects in September without seeking nod from the planning and finance departments.

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Incidentally, the irrigation department was under the charge of Fadnavis' close confidant Girish Mahajan. Of the five, four projects -- Waghur (Rs 2288 crore), Hatnur (Rs 526 crore), Warangaon Takvel (Rs 816 crore) and Shelgai (Rs 968 ctore) -- were from Jalgaon district, which is the home district of Mahajan.

The fifth project was Bhatsa project in Thane district (Rs 1491 crore). This was the sixth revised administrative approval granted to the Bhatsa project.

A senior minister told the FPJ," The Fadnavis cabinet had bypassed planning and finance departments to give revised administrative approval for five irrigation projects. It was quite objectionable and therefore the Uddhav cabinet decided to review it."

The minister reminded how the BJP had targeted the NCP in 2012 and in 2014 in an alleged irrigation scam. The irrigation department in the Congress-NCP regime was then held by Ajit Pawar and Sunil Tatkare.

Another minister said it was the BJP's turn to clarify matters on the decision taken ahead of assembly election.