Rs97,000cr required to complete 515 irrigation projects: CAG report

The amount the government needs to complete its ongoing irrigation projects — 515 of them in all — now stands at Rs97,101 crore. Of these, 85 have been pending for more than three decades, and 247 for more than 15 years, the report said
By Ketaki Ghoge | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON APR 14, 2016 12:55 AM IST

As Maharashtra battles one of its worst droughts in recent history, the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report on the state’s finances for March 2015 throws light on how poorly managed irrigation projects across the state may be adding to the mess, while painting a sorry picture of public finances.

The amount the government needs to complete its ongoing irrigation projects — 515 of them in all — now stands at Rs97,101 crore. Of these, 85 have been pending for more than three decades, and 247 for more than 15 years, the report said.

The cost overruns taxpayers have to fork out for such delays and corruption in nearly 401 irrigation projects work out to Rs44,061 crore.

Technically, even if half of these projects were planned and executed well, the impact of the current drought could have been halved. Even with the highest number of irrigation projects in the country, the state has created irrigation far below the national average, at just 18%.

These figures show the government needs to go back to the drawing board and prioritise only those projects that will benefit the public and the farmers, and not contractors.

The CAG’s report analyses financial trends from 2010-11 to 2014-15 and has painted a worrying scenario for the state. The CAG has warned that the state may not be able to sustain its debt liability — currently at Rs3.3 lakh crore — in the medium-to-long-run.

In fact, the government will face the crunch soon, as “within the next seven years, more than 50% of the debt (Rs84, 712 crore) needs to be repaid’’, the report points out.

“The liability of the state to repay debt would be Rs42,552 crore in 2018-2020 and Rs42,160 crore from 2020-22’’. This means a huge strain on the state’s budgets and its development spending in the future.

One of the reasons the state may not be able to sustain its debt is because of negative non-debt receipts — or the money raised from resources that do not create further liability — required to meet primary incremental expenditure and incremental interest burden.

The CAG has said the state needs to improve its resource mobilisation and prune unproductive expenditure.

In the five-year period analysed, the state’s capital expenditure or money spent on creating assets such as roads and bridges fell from 14% to 10% — lower than the average of 17 other states (21%), even as our expenditure on salaries, pensions and interest payments has increased to 63%.

The state’s financial management is such that the government’s investments in dead public sector undertakings and cooperatives give interest returns in the range of 0.02% to 0. 05% , whereas the average interest paid on our borrowings ranges from 7.42% to 7.81%.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Rucha Salgaonkar, matron of BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
Rucha Salgaonkar, matron of BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

Tales of pandemic: Each day was a blur, says matron of BYL Nair Hospital, Mumbai

By Shreya Bhandary, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:38 AM IST
For 52-year-old Rucha Salgaonkar, who was assigned the post of matron at BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai Central in March 2020, the first assignment was to prepare a Covid ward.
Close
Atik Khan outside Sion hospital in Mumbai. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)
Atik Khan outside Sion hospital in Mumbai. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Tales of pandemic: Worked 5 days in a row, says 108 ambulance driver

By Rupsa Chakraborty, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:35 AM IST
Atik Khan, 43, an ambulance driver with 108 ambulance service operated by the Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services (MEMS), was on a night shift when the national lockdown was declared on March 24, 2020.
Close
Senior citizens register to get their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine at BKC jumbo Covid centre in Mumbai on Monday. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)
Senior citizens register to get their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine at BKC jumbo Covid centre in Mumbai on Monday. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Informed at last minute, 3 Mumbai hospitals scrambled to get ready for vaccination

By Rupsa Chakraborty, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:31 AM IST
After being informed on Sunday that they have been shortlisted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for the third phase of vaccination, HJ Doshi Hindu Sabha Hospital, KJ Somaiya Medical College and SRCC Children’s Hospital scrambled to prepare for beneficiaries on Monday.
Close
The supplementary statement of expenditure 2020-21 was tabled by the deputy chief minister and finance minister Ajit Pawar in the state assembly on Monday. (HT File)
The supplementary statement of expenditure 2020-21 was tabled by the deputy chief minister and finance minister Ajit Pawar in the state assembly on Monday. (HT File)

Budget session: Maharashtra govt tables supplementary demands worth 21,076 crore

PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:27 AM IST
Supplementary budget refers to additional expenditure required for the year for unforeseen expenses over and above the annual budget
Close
A senior citizen gets her first dose of Covid vaccine at BKC jumbo Covid centre in Mumbai on Monday. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)
A senior citizen gets her first dose of Covid vaccine at BKC jumbo Covid centre in Mumbai on Monday. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Maharashtra sees slight dip in Covid cases with 6,000 new ones

By Naresh Kamath, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:25 AM IST
While battling glitches on the CoWIN app, 4,723 members of the general public received the first shot of the vaccine on Monday. The state also saw the number of new cases of Covid-19 fall to the 6,000 range after hovering above 8,000 for the past five days.
Close
Bombay high court. (HT FILE)
Bombay high court. (HT FILE)

Bombay HC vacates stay on GR restraining hike in school fees amid pandemic

By KAY Dodhiya, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:19 AM IST
The the court has said the state may initiate action against a school in case of complaints from parents or even take suo motu action in case of alleged exploitation by a school.
Close
NCP leader Sharad Pawar being administered his first dose of Covid-19 vaccine at Sir JJ Hospital in Mumbai on Monday. (HT Photo)
NCP leader Sharad Pawar being administered his first dose of Covid-19 vaccine at Sir JJ Hospital in Mumbai on Monday. (HT Photo)

Vaccination phase 3: 1,982 get a shot at safety in Mumbai

By Mehul R Thakkar, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:14 AM IST
On first day of the third phase of the vaccination drive, 1,982 citizens were vaccinated on Monday. Of these, 260 were between the ages of 45 and 59 years, with comorbidities, while 1,722 were senior citizens and above 60 years old.
Close
A senior citizen gets the first dose of vaccine against Covid-19 at Thane Civil Hospital on Monday. (Praful Gangurde/ HT)
A senior citizen gets the first dose of vaccine against Covid-19 at Thane Civil Hospital on Monday. (Praful Gangurde/ HT)

Crowding, queues at all vaccine centres in Mumbai on first day of third phase

By Rupsa Chakraborty, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:09 AM IST
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) started the third phase of its mass immunisation programme on Monday. However, technical glitches in the newly-updated CoWIN app, lack of coordination among civic officials and confusion among the public affected the overall turnout.
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Builder murder case: Bombay HC rejects plea to transfer trial

By KAY Dodhiya, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:06 AM IST
The Bombay high court on Monday refused to transfer the ongoing trial in the sessions court against the accused in the 2013 murder of developer Sunil Kumar Lahoriya at Navi Mumbai to a different court as the current bench had completed a substantial portion of the trial and the petitioner had not shown any glaring exceptional circumstances to cause a transfer.
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Irrigation scam in Maharashtra: HC strikes down nod to prosecute officer

By Kanchan Chaudhari, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:03 AM IST
The Bombay high court last week struck down sanction to prosecute Chandan Jibhkate, the then senior divisional accounts officer of the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC), in five irrigation scam cases
Close
HT Image
HT Image

MMRDA invites tenders for pedestrian bridge at BKC

PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:00 AM IST
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has called for tenders to construct a pedestrian bridge connecting Bandra-Kurla Complex’s (BKC) City Park to Maharashtra Nature Park (MNP) in Mahim.
Close
Air quality in Mumbai remained in the moderate category with the air quality index (AQI) at 190 on Monday. (HT FILE)
Air quality in Mumbai remained in the moderate category with the air quality index (AQI) at 190 on Monday. (HT FILE)

Mumbai: Mercury crosses 35°C as summer sets in, warmer days ahead

By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:00 AM IST
At 35.4 degrees Celsius, the maximum temperature remained above 35 degrees Celsius the second consecutive day — indicating that Mumbai has begun experiencing the onset of the summer.
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Mumbai man held for rape

By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:01 AM IST
Pant Nagar police on Sunday arrested a 22-year-old man for allegedly raping a woman repeatedly on the pretext of helping her with money during the lockdown in 2020.
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Mumbai local trains get system modelled on air traffic control

By Aroosa Ahmed, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 12:58 AM IST
In a move meant to increase the safety of passengers and the first of its kind on the Indian railways suburban network, a mobile train communication system was introduced on the Western Railway (WR) on Monday
Close
Many autorickshaw drivers said they were not aware of display of tariff cards and continued to charge the earlier tariff. (HT FILE)
Many autorickshaw drivers said they were not aware of display of tariff cards and continued to charge the earlier tariff. (HT FILE)

Auto, taxi fare hike in Mumbai: Drivers and passengers still confused

By Aroosa Ahmed, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 12:55 AM IST
Confusion among passengers and autorickshaw and taxi drivers regarding implementation of the new tariff was witnessed on the first day after fare hike on Monday. Many autorickshaw and taxi drivers said they were not aware about the display of tariff cards and continued to charge the earlier tariff.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP