Sachin Sawant, general secretary and spokesperson of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee on Thursday slammed the former Maharashtra chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' government for its massive irregularities and corruption in Jalyukta Shivar Yojana. The Congress leader welcomed the report presented by the four-member committee chaired by former Additional Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar. The committee in its report has found several irregularities and lapses in the Fadnavis government's flagship multi-crore Jalyukta Shivar Yojana (JSY) during 2015-19.
Sachin Sawant taking a swipe at Fadnavis government termed the scheme as 'Jholyukta Shivar' and said the Mahavikas Aghadi govt should go to the root of the corruption.
The objective of Jalayukta Shivar Yojana was to divert rain water to the village shivars, increase the ground water level and irrigation area as well as increase the efficiency of water use.
He further said that his party Congress had pointed out that the scheme has been corrupt since 2015 and has become a breeding ground for BJP cronies and contractors. "All the claims made about this scheme were hollow when the Fadnavis government was in power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that 16,000 villages would be drought-free due to this scheme and additional 9,000 villages would be drought-free too," he added.
Revealing figures Mr Sawant said, "Despite spending around Rs 10,000 crore on the water scheme, more than 7,000 tankers had to supply water to the state in May 2019. Also, according to the 2018 Groundwater Survey and Development Agency report, the groundwater level in 13,984 villages in 252 talukas had gone down by more than 1 meter and in state, the water level had gone down in 31,015 villages.
He alleged, "despite knowing this, the Fadnavis government continued to praise the scheme.
"The Congress had pointed out that the water-rich scheme was in a state of flux, showing that the work in the scheme was done in an unscientific manner and that the JCB machine only dug pits and stored only sludge instead of water. Many works have not been audited," Sawant Said. "The BJP's corrupt cronies and guilty contractors will be punished soon," he added.