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SIT probe into multi-crore irrigation scam in Maharashtra an eyewash
The Maharashtra government on Monday agreed to conducting an SIT probe to look into the irregularities in the irrigation projects, since 1995. Irrigation expert Madhav Chitaley will head the Special Investigation team, but farmers' advocacy group VJAS has called it a 'mere eyewash'.

WATER RESOURCES Minister Sunil Tatkare told the state assembly to end blockade but Vidarbha farmers are not impressed with this announcement. They are convinced with the fact that earlier too water expert special teams have already submitted in-depth reports after state PAC and CAG raised serious objection over the misuse of funds to the tune of more than Rs 30,000 crore.

The findings of these investigating committees such as the Wadnere Committee, the Mendhegiri committee and the Upase committee are with the government and it was expected that SIT or CBI will be asked to conduct an investigation into criminal misconduct of concerned ministers and officers who flouted rules and managed to siphon off the money.

The farmers are shocked to know that another water expert, who is close to Sharad Pawar and his family, known for his pro-administration history has been appointed as head of the SIT. They allege that he will work under same government which is protecting ministers involved in the mega irrigation scam.

"This is nothing but another committee to cover earlier three committees reports', hence farmers termed it another eyewash and urged legislators to join work in both houses to provide relief to 5 million distressed and debt-trapped cotton farmers, who lost cotton crop for third year in a row,"Vidarbha farmers pressure group, Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS) president, Kishore Tiwari said.

In fact, Vidarbha for years, suffered neglect under irrigation department run by western Maharashtra politicians. If money is pumped into these irrigation projects, debt-trapped and distressed Vidarbha farmers would benefit and farmer suicides would stop, but all money to increase irrigation facility has been taken away by these ministers. "They are killers of Vidarbha farmers. Criminal action against such ministers and contractors is a must," Tiwari said.

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