‘White paper’ suggests policy changes
With allegations abound about cost escalation and delay, the paper has recommended that irrigation projects now on be executed through the annuity process adopted for all major road works.
“In the annuity system, the responsibility of raising funds and completing projects by deadline rests with contractors.” Currently, the responsibility is with the state government.
The paper suggests staying projects in which less than 25 per cent of work has been completed. It says major projects in which over 75 per cent of work has been completed should be divided into smaller units decided by average 5,000 or 10,000 hectares to be brought under irrigation and these be completed in a phased manner.
There are 670 projects under way on which Rs 53,209 crore had been spent till March 2012. Rs 78,451 crore more is required to complete these projects.
There are 150 projects on which more than 75 per cent expenditure has been made. The remaining cost is Rs 2,164.3 crore to bring 198.390 thousand hectares under irrigation.
There are 205 projects on which less than 25 per cent expenditure has been made. These will require another Rs 38,265 crore for completion to bring 1,765.883 thousand hectares under irrigation.
Allegation: Cost rose manifold
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