Maharashtra government announces SIT to probe multi-crore irrigation scam

The Maharashtra government late on Monday announced the members of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that would probe the alleged irregularities in the state's Rs70,000-crore irrigation projects over a 10-year period.

The SIT headed by water expert Madhav Chitale, will have former additional chief secretary (finance) A K D Jadhav, retired irrigation secretary V M Ranade and former agriculture commissioner Krishna Lavekar as members.

The SIT, which will look into the allegations of irregularities in the implementation of various irrigation projects in the state, has been asked to submit its report within six months.

The committee, which will be based in Aurangabad, will look into reasons for failure to achieve targets for irrigated area - in terms of projects, wells, increased ground water, etc -  whether existing norms and rules were followed while approving revised costs and reasons for delays, while also recommending measures to complete projects in time.

The committee will fix responsibility and suggest actions against those found guilty of any irregularities.

The SIT probe has been instituted amidst allegations of corruption against NCP leader Ajit Pawar who had resigned from the state cabinet after reports of irregularities emerged last year.