The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has exposed gross irregularities in the execution of Andhra Pradesh's irrigation projects, which has resulted in a cost overrun of Rs. 52,116 crore.
The report, prepared by principal accountant general Vani Sriram, was tabled in the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly on the last day of the Budget session here today.
Lack of planning, delay in land acquisition, delay in completing projects, besides changes in specifications and scope of works, pushed up cost of projects by Rs. 52,116 crore as on September 2012, the latest CAG report on the 'Jalayagnam' irrigation programme said.
The CAG report comes in the wake of opposition parties claiming that the 'Jalayagnam' programme launched in 2004 by late Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy was a money-spinner for Congress leaders and some contractors.
Involving 86 major irrigation projects at a cost of over Rs. 1.86 lakh crore, the programme was supposed to create new irrigation potential for 97.46 lakh acres, besides stabilising the existing irrigated area of 22.53 lakh acres.
The state government claimed to have spent a whopping Rs. 80,000 crore so far on these projects since 2004-05 but so far only 13 projects have been completed, creating a newly irrigated area of 1.37 lakh acres, besides stabilising 1.89 lakh acres.
However, CAG has estimated that due to some partially completed projects along with those fully completed, the new irrigated area till September 2012 is 12.74 lakh acres.
The CAG came down heavily on the Andhra Pradesh government for taking up major irrigation projects "without adequate planning" and clearances from different agencies like central water commission, planning commission as well as ministry of environment and forests.