CAG finds glaring loopholes, irregularities in SSNNL

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - 21:53

Gandhinagar: Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam
Ltd (SSNNL) implementing the ambitious Narmada project in
the state has diverted irrigation funds worth Rs 1833 crore
for some other work which delayed creation of irrigation
potential in the Narmada project canal command area, according
to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report
tabled in the state assembly on Tuesday.

The report, has found glaring irregularities and
loopholes in the accounts of the SSNNL.

"The project cost increased substantially from Rs
6406.04 crore at 1986-87 prices to Rs 35,045.75 crore at
2005-06 prices," CAG has observed in the report.

The report added: "The company diverted accelerated
irrigation benefit programme (AIBP) funds worth Rs 1833.12
crore meant for development of the main canal and distribution
network to other areas of the project which led to delay in
creation of irrigation potential."

"The completed length of the canal system was only
18803 km against the envisaged length of 90,389 km," noted the
audit authority, adding, "Out of the total envisaged canal
command area (CCA) of 18.29 lakh hectare, the company has so
far developed CCA of 3.41 lakh hectare of which the utilised
CCA remained at 1.2 lakh hectare only."

Moreover, the SSNNL created irrigation potential in
the already water fed areas while it ignored the water scarce
zones like Saurashtra and Kutch, observed the CAG.

It also pointed out that the ambitious Narmada project
for irrigation was slowly being converted into a drinking
water project by the SSNNL.

The CNG has also found laxity on the part of the SSNNL
in canal maintenance and repair works.

"Even after investment of Rs 18515.58 crore in canal
network, the repairs and maintenance was not done, indicating
laxity of the company in safeguarding its valued assets
besides threat of life/property in canal vicinity," noted the
CAG.

What is more glaring in the audit report is that the
agency has still not framed a comprehensive irrigation policy
while the interim policy did not cover some vital issues like
system of assessing crops pattern, fixation of water charges
and responsibilities of water users` association.

There were also deficiencies in management of
contracts like award of work before acquisition of requisite
land, obtaining requisite clearances, finalising the
construction stage drawings and failure to take up repair
works in time which has adversely affected the development of
the command area.

The audit agency has recommended a number of measures
to bring the execution of the project on track and expedite
the canal works and making a viable debt service plan to
avoid huge financial burden on the Gujarat government.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - 21:53

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