Chennai: With the ruling AIADMK already having ordered a probe into the alleged excesses regarding the New Assembly complex, touted as DMK Chief M Karunanidhi`s pet initiative, the leader could face more embarrassment with the
Comptroller and Auditor General finding `wasteful expenditure` in the construction of a temporary dome there.
In its report (Civil) for the year ended March 31, 2010 India`s principal accounts watchdog has pointed out the delay in providing permanent dome by the state`s Public Works Department (Buildings).
While the project consultant had completed the dome design in August 2009, its construction, at a cost of Rs 17.80 crore, was handed over to another contractor in November that year.
"The agreement was signed in December 2009 only, due to the delay in supply of detailed drawings of the dome by the consultant. In the meantime, the Government had fixed March 13, 2010 as the date of inauguration of the building," CAG said.
As structural dome could not be constructed before the inauguration date, the consultant advised the department to provide its prototype to study the dome profile and finished effect and to have a better understanding of a large dome proposed to be constructed at a height of 100 feet.
The work of construction of a temporary dome was entrusted in March 2010 to a firm without calling for tenders at a cost of Rs 3.28 crore and got done. The prototype dome had to be provided due to the department`s failure to provide the permanent dome within the scheduled time, the CAG said.
"The design and sanctioned estimate for the permanent dome did not provide for provision of a temporary dome. Hence the expenditure of Rs 3.28 crore incurred on the construction of the temporary dome proved wasteful," it said.
The department`s reply in September 2010 that the permanent dome could not be constructed without studying the wind effect and shape on such a huge structure, was "not acceptable”, CAG said, adding the consultant while furnishing the design of the dome initially had not suggested any such prototype.
"Moreover, the decision to construct the temporary dome was taken in February 2010 whereas the permanent dome work was entrusted in November 2009 itself," the CAG said.
The `pet project` of Karunanidhi had already run into rough weather. Besides making it clear that she will not function from the premises citing administrative reasons, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had announced setting up a multi-super speciality hospital and a government medical college at the sprawling campus.