New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has slammed the Sports Authority of India for "idling of infrastructure" arising out of lack of proper planning and "unfruitful expenditure" worth more than Rs 15 crore in total in two separate projects in the country.
In a report concerning the sports ministry, the CAG said that SAI gave clearance to the setting up of a sub-centre at Hazaribagh in Jharkhand in 2001 but it could not be made operational after constructing the facility at a cost of Rs 14.15 crore for want of security clearance from the state government as it falls in a left wing extremism affected area.
The state government allotted the 47.5 acre area at Padma Village in Hazaribagh to set up the facility meant for imparting training in different disciplines of sports to tribal youths from adjoining districts.
"SAI approved (July-August 2003) the preliminary estimate for Rs 15.66 crore...Although the schedule date of completion was December 2004, NBCC started work in December 2003 and completed in May 2008. After spending Rs 14.15 crore, SAI took over the infrastructure in June 2010," the CAG report, which was tabled in the Parliament today, said.
"Audit scrutiny revealed (March 2014) that the sub-centre could not be made operational for want of security clearance from the state government...And the infrastructure remained unutilised as of December 2014," it said.
"Though Hazaribagh was a left wing extremism affected area, SAI did not give due cognizance to the aspect of security (to sportspersons/coaches/during construction) while selecting the location of the sub-centre. Thus, creation of infrastructure without giving due cognizance to the security issues, resulted in idling of investment Rs 14.15 crore and unfruitful expenditure of Rs 1.28 crore (on upkeep of the centre)," the CAG report said.
Regarding another project concerning the establishment of Special Area Games Centre at North Eastern Hill University in Shillong, the CAG found that the laying of astro-turf hockey field was cancelled midway after spending Rs 82 lakh.
"Audit observed that the SAI had approved the project (in 2008) without ascertaining feasibility of the use of facility for the intended objective, as the SAI DG, after reviewing the progress of work, cancelled (in 2012) it on grounds that hockey was neither an approved sports discipline at SAG Shillong nor was hockey a popular sport in Meghalaya and Assam," the CAG report said.
"Thus, the decision of SAI to implement the project without ascertaining its feasibility led to unfruitful expenditure of Rs 82 lakh. SAI failed to exercise due diligence at the outset of the project leading to its cancellation midway," it said.