The Maharashtra Government has cancelled 94 contracts pertaining to 14 irrigation projects in the state. Out of the 94 contracts, 12 are in the Konkan region, 81 in the Gosikhurd project in Bhandara district and one in Nashik. Reports reveal that the Cabinet decided to cancel the 94 contracts as the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is investigating allegations of corruption in these projects.
The state government will go for retendering of these projects, according to reports. There was no land acquisition or rehabilitation of the displaced people and even the forest land which would have been submerged was not acquired for most of the 12 projects in the Konkan region whose tendering process was initiated earlier.
Government officials have reportedly mentioned that the state government is cancelling tenders based on a report by the then retired principal secretary of the water resources department, who found several financial irregularities in the contracts for the Gosikhurd dam project.
Further, all contracts whose value is above Rs 1 crore will be cancelled and the government has taken the view of the legal department in this regard, as per reports. The state has decided to cancel the contracts as per the Indian Contracts Act (1972). However, the government will not cancel all the contracts as per the Wadnere Committee's findings. But, those contracts whose value is below Rs 1 crore and which irrigation department engineers feel can be completed in the next two months, according to reports, will be allowed to continue.