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Madhya Pradesh government failed in improving irrigation capacity, SJP claims quoting the CAG Report  

Monday June 09, 2014

MADHYA PRADESH, IRRIGATION, WATER RESOURCES, CAG REPORT, BJP, SJP  
 

"The BJP and its government in Madhya Pradesh is adopting a dual standard by criticising Maharashtra government over irregularities in its irrigation scheme when it has failed to acknowledge the CAG report on its own irrigation schemes and projects.

 

HNF Correspondent

 
 

Samajwadi Jan Parishad, in a press release, criticised the BJP government of Madhya Pradesh (MP) for lying about its achievements of irrigation targets. The BJP and its government in Madhya Pradesh is adopting a dual standard by criticising Maharashtra government over irregularities in its irrigation scheme when it has failed to acknowledge the CAG report on its own irrigation schemes and projects.

If year 2010's Performance Audit Report - the latest in the series of CAG on MP Government - is to be believed, the MP government has not only miserably failed in improving irrigation capacity in the state despite spending thousand of crores of rupees on various irrigation schemes, but it also suffers from many financial irregularities and favouritism; irregular payments to the tune of tens of crorers of rupees; and, compromised quality of work. It seems that route of Madhya Pradesh Laghu Udhyog Nigam (MPULN) was used to provide undue favours to the contractors.

 

Under Bansagar Irrigation project, between 2005-06 to 2009-10, an excess and wasteful payment of more than 121 crore of rupees, 20% of the amount spent, was made out of total expenditure of 607.03 crore, mentioned the CAG report. It also pointed that actual irrigation was 4.19 to 15.67% of targeted irrigation; records pertaining to monitoring of quantities and quality of work for length of canal were not maintained; the quality of work was not monitored and was found to be substandard; specifications were not followed; inadequate survey work led to large variations in quantities put to tender;  department gave more emphasis on purchase than on actual execution; excess payments to contractors were made; instead of itemised rates a lump-sump contract system was adopted.

Under 1919 crore World bank funded Madhya Pradesh Water Sector Restructuring Project (MPWSRP), only 11% of the targeted irrigation could be achieved; contract documents were not prepared with full care which resulted in deficient internal control, inadequate monitoring, unsatisfactory performance, financial loss and legal complications for the government while making way for undue benefit to the contractors, said the CAG report.

Under MPWSRP project, during May 2004 to March 2010, out of 6.20 lakh hectares of spread area as aimed, 69 thousand hectares, i.e., only 11% of irrigation could be achieved in 83% of the project time after spending 38.45 % of the project cost, i.e., 688.25 crore against the sanctioned cost of 1919 crore of rupees. Only 4% of the total schemes were initiated.

The Water Resources Department (WRD) of MP has received a loan of 1919 crore rupees from the World Bank for integrated vision of water sector management   associating various departments; modernisation of  the exiting irrigation and drainage assets in Cahmbal-Betwa; Narmada-Tapti; Dhasan-Ken; Yamuna-Sindh; and Tons-Wainganga basin. The project aimed to adopt integrated development approach by ensuring involvement of line departments like fisheries, agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry etc. CAG observed that these departments were not even fully aware of the project while citing that the appointment of consultant was delayed by 13 to 44 months; the progress of the project was so slow that, as per the project conditions, a commitment charge of 8.26 crore had to be paid to World Bank as a fine for non utilisation of released funds on time; irregular awards of work costing 23.73 crore without inviting open tenders;  the full payment of 26.65 crore of  cement concrete lining was made without ensuring the quality by conducting mandatory core tests; quality aspect of rehabilitation works remained non-assuring as consultant was not appointed; additional security deposit of 57.51 crore against 15 unbalanced bid (where item rates quoted by contractor were very high as compared to estimated and market rates) was not obtained.

It further says, contractor failed to achieve the target as per the agreement and the cost of damages amounting to 20.93 crore, thus liquidated, were not recovered. Even project planning was not proper and the contract for preparing Scheme Modernisation Plan (SMP) was awarded after 34 months. Out of 654 schemes, SMPs of 167 had already been prepared by the department and 149 schemes were dropped. But the contractor was paid 6.01 crore for the same incurring, thereby, extra cost of 3.07 crore.

In Bansagar irrigation project, the canal work was taken up in 1979 which was to be completed in 1987 with the estimated cost of 10.06 crore. But, even after spending 961.01 corers of rupees by March 2010, almost 95 times of the estimated cost, only 62% of canal work - 911.51 Km out of 1463.27 km - could be completed and irrigation potential of 4.19 to 15.67% could be taped. During the course of audit, several inconsistencies, lapses and breach of contract conditions were also noticed.

Demanding a thorough investigation of the irregularities, Samajwadi Jan Parishad called upon the Government of Madhya Pradesh to issue a white paper on the irrigation projects.

 
 

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