Undue financial benefit of Rs 32 cr, CAG report says
KOHIMA, AUGUST 7: In a startling revelation, the failure of Public Works Department (PWD) Nagaland had resulted in a cost escalation of Rs 141 crore during 2014-19.
This was detected by the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) of India report on general, economic and revenue sectors for the year ended March 31, 2019, which was tabled in the just-concluded State Assembly session.
During the 2014-2019 period, Nagaland Government had sanctioned 254 new projects of residential and non-residential buildings at a cost of Rs 671.95 crore, to be taken up by the various divisions of PWD, it stated.
Out of the 71 projects taken up by 7 Housing Divisions, 26 were completed while 45 were ongoing as on March 2019, the report stated.
Similarly, out of 256 projects undertaken by 17 Engineering Divisions attached with other Departments during the period, 132 projects were completed while 124 were ongoing.
The total expenditure incurred during the period was of Rs 683.72 crore on 327 projects.
The Performance Audit was conducted during June to September 2019 for the period 2014-19 on a sample check of the executing divisions, it stated.
Significant findings of audit were: the Department did not ensure availability of land free from all encumbrances in 4 projects and delayed handing over of land, ranging from 7 to 37 months in 2 projects resulting in time and cost overrun of projects.
Failure of the Department to identify project sites led to delays in commencement/completion of the works resulting in cost escalation of Rs 141 crore in 14 projects, the report found.
Under various Central Schemes, the Departments had received Government of India (GoI) funds of Rs 212.92 crore but the State did not release its share of funds to the tune of Rs 27.02 crore, according to the report.
There were delays ranging from 3 to 51 months in release of the funds by the Finance Department to the implementing Departments, it stated.
Four Executive Engineers prepared 4 Detail Project Reports (DPR) without obtaining mandatory recommendation of High-Level Technical Committee (HLTC) and approval of the State Level Programme Implementing Committee (SLPIC), thereby violating existing systems and procedures in place, the report stated.
Undue financial benefits of Rs 17.15 crore as advance payment was extended to 3 contractors by two Executive Engineers though there was no enabling payment clause in the contract deed agreement, and also without citing any reason for such payment.
In 55 projects, Engineering Divisions made payment of Rs 15.74 crore for works not executed or short-executed.
There were delays in completion of 90 projects, out of the total 119 projects, executed by Public Works and Engineering Divisions which ranged for more than 13 years.
(Page News Service)