Thane: NCP leader and former Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Sunil Tatkare, who was summoned by the ACB in connection with Konkan Irrigation Development Corporation's Kondhane Dam scam, failed to turn up before the investigators, a top official said in Thane on Wednesday.
According to ACB DYSP Sanjay Mohite, the agency is carrying out an open enquiry in connection with the irrigation scam, and as part of their investigation, Tatkare was summoned yesterday over the alleged financial irregularities in the controversial Kondhane irrigation project in Raigad, where the construction cost allegedly went up by over 300 per cent.
But the senior leader gave ACB a miss and chose to be represented through his counsel. Also, the answers furnished by Tatkare in response to ACB queries were incomplete and unsatisfactory, it claimed in a release here last night.
Hence, again a detailed questionnaire has been sent to Tatkare through his counsel and the ex-minister has been asked to remain present in person at the ACB office on September 21, with replies to queries raised in the communication by the ACB, which is in the process of recording his statement now.
Meanwhile, the probe agency has registered offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act with Kopri Police here, against a contractor and few other government officials in connection with the Balganga dam in Konkan region.
The arrested accused in the case are presently in judicial custody and hearing in connection with their bail applications have been posted for September 25, it added.
The Rs 327-crore Kondane irrigation project in the district of Raigad in Konkan was executed during the tenure of Tatkare. Shortly after taking charge last year, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had given his nod to the ACB for opening inquires against Tatkare, former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, for alleged corruption in the irrigation scam.
In December 2014, four engineers in the irrigation department were suspended in the Kondhane Dam scam. Primary charges against the officials relate to cost escalation of the project from Rs 80.35 crore to Rs 327.62 crore. Also, the decision to raise the dam height to 32.30 m was reportedly taken without seeking the approval from the Competent Financial Authority.
Kondhane Dam in Raigad district was part of the larger multi-crore irrigation scam that blighted the Congress-NCP rule in the state for 15 years.