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Major scam in water conservation plans: Gujarat Congress

By Newsd
Published on :
Paresh Dhanani
Image Courtesy: The Indian Express

Gandhinagar: Paresh Dhanani, the Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly, on Tuesday alleged a major scam by the BJP government in the water conservation schemes carried out in the state since 2006 until recently.

The Congress leader has alleged that thousands of crores of people’s hard earned money found its way into Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders’ pockets.

The Leader of Opposition came down heavily on the state government’s schemes for water conservation, including Sujalam Sufalam Scheme launched by the Vijay Rupani government on Gujarat Foundation Day — May 1 — this year.

Dhanani told the media: Despite clear guidelines from the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) that the water conservation structures should be of sustainable nature, crores of public money was wasted on creating ‘bori bunds’ (sand-filled sacks stacked to form a temporary wall to create reservoirs).

Specific instructions were given by the Principal Secretary in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) and the Chief Secretary of the state, under direct orders from the then Chief Minister and now Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to utilize maximum MGNREGA funds for the purpose as also the state rural employment funds.

Between 2006-07 and 2017-18, according to Dhanani, around 10,29,778 such bori bunds were created with MGNREGA funds utilized by the Roads & Buildings, Irrigation, Agriculture, Water Resources and Forest departments of the government.

With an average of Rs 10,000 per bori bund, over Rs 1,000 crore was spent over creation of the temporary structures, he said.

I challenge the BJP government to show me one functional bori bund anywhere in the state and I will resign from my post. I allege that a massive corruption has taken place in the water conservation schemes, he added.