CAG raps U`khand govt for financial bungling during Kumbh mela

Last Updated: Monday, April 25, 2011 - 14:16

Dehradun: The Comptroller and Auditor General
(CAG) has pulled up the Uttarakhand government for wasteful,
avoidable and unauthorised expenditure to the tune of Rs 223
crore in the Maha Kumbh Mela.

Based on the CAG report, a criminal complaint has been
filed in a court here against Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal
Nishank and two others for alleged financial irregularities
during the fair organised last year in Haridwar.

The report said the performance audit revealed lack of
detailed and comprehensive planning such as an integrated
plan, lack of coordination among various departments,
substandard work and poor management of affairs in various
areas.

It stated that 54 works with an approved cost of Rs 180.07
crore remained incomplete during the fair.

Out of 311 approved works, only 82 works were completed
before the beginning of the fair. Besides, 43 additional works
were executed without prior sanction and five works were
sanctioned in an unauthorized manner, the report said.

Late release of sanctions created pressure upon executing
agencies due to which irregular payment of advances were made
to contractors.

Moreover, works were taken up by the executing agencies
in a hasty manner leading to improper assessment, substandard
execution and unfruitful, excess and avoidable expenditure.

The CAG said unauthorized expenditure of Rs 19.39 crore
for executing 43 works was incurred by 11 departments without
prior approval of the government.

Improvement, extension of a geologically unsuitable hill
bypass road and construction of a road on disputed land in
Haridwar led to avoidable expenditure of Rs 11.64 crore, it
stated.

Strengthening of 29.645 km road was done without approved
design and against the guidelines of Indian Road Congress
which led to avoidable expenditure of Rs 3 crore, it said.

It also said lackadaisical approach toward generation of
revenue from parking, providing of tin and water charges by
the Mela administration led to loss of Rs 3.85 crore.
Accepting arbitrary conditions raised by contractors in
negotiations on hiring tin and furniture led to extra
expenditure of Rs 4.77 crore.

An expenditure of Rs 439.47 crore was incurred till July
2010 by the state government on preparations for the fair for
which the total action plan was of Rs 590 crore with Central
assistance of Rs 565 crore, the report said.

However, the CAG lauded the government for construction
and renovation of 3,310 meters of bathing ghats before the
beginning of the fair saying it proved to be a milestone which
enhanced the capacity of ghats for catering to needs of a
large number of pilgrims.

PTI



First Published: Monday, April 25, 2011 - 14:16

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