Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan: Panel for probe into works under Fadnavis govt

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday received the report of an inquiry committee recommending that 1,000 projects taken up under the Devendra Fadnavis government’s Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan (JSA) be investigated by the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for alleged violation of norms.

Sources in the state water conservation department said a high-powered committee, led by senior IAS officer Vijay Kumar – set up to inquire into alleged irregularities in the water conservation project – has submitted its report to the government.

“It has found irregularities in several JSA projects. The committee has suggested that 1,000 works should be probed by the ACB. It has also recommended that several hundred other works pertaining to technicalities and non-conforming of guidelines should be probed,” a source in the department said.

The final decision to proceed with an investigation will be taken by CM Uddhav Thackeray.

The Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan was the flagship project of former CM Fadnavis. Launched in 2014, the objective was to make Maharashtra free of drought.

Last December, the Shiv Sena-led MVA government had constituted the committee to shortlist the works to be probed. The committee was set up after the CAG, in its report tabled in the Assembly on September 9, 2020, raised questions about JSA.

When contacted, BJP MLA and former minister Ashish Shelar said, “The government should realise that JSA was successful in eradicating drought in 25,000 villages in Maharashtra… Moreover, JSA has elicited overwhelming response from the people and non-government organisations. An attack on JSA is an attack on the people.”

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