Fighting Courrption
In one of the most high profile cases widely reported in the national media, we exposed a huge irrigation scam in the state, involving not only officers and contractors, but the high and mighty in the state government. We filed a PIL before the Nagpur bench of Mumbai High Court in the matter, exposing a fraud played by an unholy nexus of politicians, officers and contractors, who siphoned off funds to the tune of Rs. 70000 crores meant for irrigation projects in the state. The fraud resulted in depriving the backward region of Vidarbha of the desperately needed irrigation facilities. We pointed out that within a span of just seven months in 2009, the cost of 38 irrigation projects under the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation had escalated by a whopping Rs.26,722.33 crores.
Thirty out of these 38 projects were approved in a record time of just four days. The cost of six of these projects went up by an incredible 33 times of their original cost. We demanded a CBI inquiry in the scam, whereas the state government declared an open inquiry by the State Anti Corruption Bureau. The inquiry is now in progress, with Janmanch keeping a close watch to prevent any attempt at sabotaging the inquiry by vested interests.
‘Janmanch’ was instrumental in breaking the nexus between government officers and irrigation contractors at Jigaon Project in Buldana district, where the contract was awarded and mobilization advance of Rs. 28.8 crore granted to the contractors even before the land acquisition process was undertaken. Interestingly, the contract was granted without any bank guarantee and interest clause. Janmanch took recourse to RTI to dig out the truth, and forced the authorities to recover 11.95% interest on the advance, amounting to Rs. 12 crore, from the contractor.
‘Janmanch’ objected to the unnecessary payment of Rs. Three crore to the contractors in the Gosi Khurd Project in the name of cost escalation, and followed up the matter till the money was recovered by the government.
We moved the Honorable High Court by means of a PIL to demand an inquiry in the massive financial fraud in the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank.
The Government of Maharashtra had decided to hand over the strategically located Indira Gandhi Medical College and its huge campus at Nagpur to a private operator for developing it on BOT basis. Sensing the ulterior motive on the part of some politicians and bureaucrats behind this move, we stalled it with the help of a PIL. Now the government itself is developing the infrastructure and has granted an additional amount of Rs. 80 crore for the purpose.
We have demanded the introduction of Property Index Number in all real estate transactions on the lines of the D-MAT system in the share market, so as to curb the rampant use of black money in these transactions.
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