Of the 112 projects approved between 2008-12, none were completed

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has said there is “no indication of that all habitations would have access to safe drinking water anytime in the near future” given the pace of coverage and competition of projects under National Rural Drinking Water Programme is very slow.

The CAG report on Local Bodies for the period 2007-12, which was tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, revealed that planning was deficient as the annual plans were approved after delays, sometimes stretching till the fag end of the financial year. It said monitoring of activities under the programme at different levels was also not adequate.

There were deficiencies in survey of quality affected habitations. As a result, the data could not be relied upon. The financial allocation for the quality aspect was deficient resulting in non-utilisation of earmarked funds and there were instances of time and cost overrun to the extent of Rs. 93.54 crore, non-completion/delayed completion of works and expenditure of Rs. 13.97 crore on non-functional/defunct works, it said.

The report showed that of the 112 projects approved between 2008-12, none were completed and 80 were not started for want of approval.

Panchayat finances

A review of finances of Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) revealed that there was steady increase in the allocation of funds to them during 2007-2012 by the State government which, however, had not taken action to revise the “Activity Map, ” which was introduced in 2003. There was no “Monitoring Cell” to supervise expenditure incurred by PRIs, the report said.

“There was no mechanism at the apex level to oversee the devolution of functions to PRIs. Taluk panchayats had a limited role in the preparation of budget. Balances under suspense heads of accounts were not reconciled”, the report noted.

The transfer of funds by the Centre directly to the implementing agencies, not routed through ZP and TP funds, rendered ineffective the control of ZPs over expenditure.

Out of Rs 10.77 lakh required to be remitted to the Government account, the Taluk Social Welfare Officer, Sira taluk, remitted Rs 77,000 only and fraudulently withdrew Rs 10 lakh. The taluk social officer then tampered with the Treasury challan to suppress the short remittances and fraudulent withdrawal, the CAG said.

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