MMRDA awarded works sans availability of clear sites, says CAG

Written by Press Trust of India | Mumbai | Updated: Jun 17 2014, 16:35pm hrs
MumbaiThe CAG report was tabled in the Maharashtra Legislature on Saturday, the last day of the monsoon session.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) awarded works without availability of clear sites, leading to their foreclosure, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said.

The CAG report was tabled in the Maharashtra Legislature on Saturday, the last day of the monsoon session.

MMRDA initiated a project called the Mumbai Urban Infrastructure Project at an estimated cost of Rs 2,647 crore and with the objective of improving road network for efficient traffic dispersal in Greater Mumbai. The project was approved by GoM in November, 2003, for completion by November, 2006, the report said.

But the performance audit of the project for the period 2008-09 to 2012-13 revealed that only 38 of the 157 items of work were taken up for execution as of November, 2013, for which an expenditure of Rs 3,736 crore was incurred, a jump of 41 per cent over the sanctioned budget of Rs 2,647 crore.

Works were awarded without availability of clear sites, leading to foreclosure. The manual provisions and tender conditions were not followed, resulting in extra expenditure on a number of works, the report added.

"There were inadequacies in Project Management Consultancy agreements. Internal controls and monitoring mechanism were lax," the report said.

CAG was also critical of the state government on the implementation of the National Rural Drinking Water Programme.

"Government of India launched the National Rural Drinking Water Programme in April, 2009, with the objective of providing the rural population with adequate and safe water for drinking, cooking and other basic domestic needs on a sustainable basis," the CAG report said, adding that "a performance audit of NRDWP was conducted for the period 2009-10 to 2012-13 in nine selected districts and 30 blocks".

"Audit scrutiny revealed that the village and district water security plans and five-year rolling plan were not prepared. The GoI imposed cuts on the funds released by it due to short release of matching funds by the state, under- utilisation of funds and delay in submission of annual action plans.

"As of April 2013, 48 per cent of the total habitations did not have access to piped drinking water supply," it said.

Measures taken for sustainability of drinking water sources and related schemes suffered due to inadequate funding by the Centre, the report said. A large number of rural water supply schemes were non-functional due to poor maintenance/ non-payment of electricity bills, the CAG said.

"Water quality monitoring was poor; water samples were not tested for pesticides and toxic/heavy metals. The Integrated Management Information System, the chief mechanism for monitoring the programme, was unreliable," the report added.