CAG raps Maharashtra for flaws in irrigation, fishing schemes
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) rapped the state government for losing crores due to the incorrect application of contract clause, inadmissible payments, blocked expenditure of the irrigation projects, flawed planning and poor implementation of the fishing and agricultural schemes.
A report released by the CAG stated that the clauses of the account of maintenance of approach roads to the dam site were incorrect and led to an extra amount of Rs22.14 crore being paid to the contractor. The water resources department lost Rs38.82 crore while failing to synchronise procurement of power generation equipment for two hydroelectric projects. This led to the equipment lying idle and added to the unavoidable expenditure.
A survey of the Mahadapur Tank project in Yavatmal was flawed and it cost the state Rs34.64 crore due to the delay in the implementation of the project, the report stated.
It also said that the state failed to levy an interest rate on the outstanding balances of mobilisation advance from the contractor of the Mun project division, resulting in the loss of Rs 87 lakh. Another Rs 2.8 crore was lost when eight mobile soil testing laboratory vans failed to achieve its objective because of faulty planning.
The report recommended that the government ensures preparation of a long term comprehensive plant for small scale irrigation projects as it would enable sustainable funding by preventing avoidable inclusion of new projects.
The fisheries department also has been slammed by the CAG for the inadequacies in planning for development of fisheries. The department does not have a credible database on inland fish catch by employing statistically sound and scientific method. It also failed to recover significant portion of lease rent and loans given out to fish cooperative societies. The department also failed to achieve its target of production of 7.5 lakh tonnes of fish and produced only 5.91 lakh tonnes during 2011-16.
The CAG report recommended effective implementation of the central and state schemes for the augmentation of fish production and economic empowerment of fishermen. It stated that projects should be completed timely to enable the fishermen to harvest, process and preserve fishery resources.