New Delhi: The Defence Ministry has been pulled up by a Parliamentary panel for more than a decade delay in setting up of an ordnance factory in Nalanda.
In its report adopted last week, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is understood to have expressed its unhappiness over the fact that only 27 per cent work of the project to produce ammunition for artillery guns has been done.
The work of the factory in Bihar started in 1999 with an envisaged capital outlay of Rs 531.42 crore. It was found that even after a lapse of 11 years, the factory had not been set up, the PAC report said.
In the report, the PAC said it was "astounded" to note that even though the actual date of completing the project was November 2005, only 27 per cent of the actual progress has been achieved as of March 2007.
"Worse, while construction of core technical buildings for the factory and production of plants and machinery were yet to be commenced as of November 2007, ancillary items of work such as construction of residential accommodation, amenity buildings, open air theatres, shopping centres, ordnance club, purchases of jeeps and air conditioners were completed," the report said.
Observing that nobody "strangely" found anything amiss in the project, the PAC said "such a brazen mismanagement, bordering on callousness, calls for fixing individual responsibility to ascertain dereliction of duty and complicity on the part of the individuals involved."
The PAC "deplored" the fact that the Defence Ministry did not build in the price variation formulae in the Request for Proposal (RFP) of the contract.
"Apparently, the failure to incorporate the price variation formulae in the RFP caused substantial time and cost overrun and delayed the project," the report said.