Gujarat deputy speaker alleges corruption in Nal Se Jal scheme, seeks government inquiry
GODHRA: Deputy Speaker of Gujarat Assembly Jethabhai Bharwad on Monday claimed that the Centre’s ambitious ‘Nal Se Jal’ scheme, which aims to provide tap water connections to all households, has ”failed” in his constituency due to rampant corruption by officials and contractors leading to sub-standard work.
The senior BJP MLA shared letters he had written to different government authorities, including Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, about the issue in the last few months and demanded an inquiry by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and state Vigilance Commission against officials and contractors.
”The Nal Se Jal scheme has failed because of rampant corruption worth crores of rupees by officials and contractors. Such corrupt practices led to sub-standard work. That is why I have demanded an inquiry into it through my letters,” Bharwad said in a post on Facebook.
The letters were written at regular intervals since July last year to different authorities such as the chief minister, water supply minister Kunvarji Bavaliya, ACB and Vigilance Commission.
Bharwad in his letter drew attention to substandard work carried out by the government implementing agency WASMO and contractors in villages of his Shehra Assembly constituency in Panchmahal district.
The deputy speaker has listed broken standposts, laying of pipes on surface, installation of plastic taps, leakage due to substandard civil and pipeline work and unfinished work at several villages as some of the issues in his letters.
Talking to reporters, Bharwad said, ”In my constituency alone, the state government has allocated more than Rs 100 crore for the Nal Se Jal scheme. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister are working hard so that people get piped water. But, when I saw that work was not carried out in a proper way, I wrote to the minister concerned, ACB and vigilance commission to conduct an inquiry.” Before seeking an inquiry, Bharwad said he had sent his team to different villages to take stock of the situation and take photographs of the actual work.
He claimed that whenever he would call up the official concerned and instruct him to do the work properly, that he would be transferred and a new officer was appointed.
Bharwad said that the state government has taken cognisance of the issue and has already initiated an inquiry over his allegations.
”This scheme will not get completed merely by transferring officials. Since the work was not being carried out as per norms, I, as the MLA of this area, wrote those letters because a huge sum is being spent on this scheme to provide water to people,” the BJP leader said.
Source: Press Trust of India