Special Correspondent

‘Undue benefits doled out to contractors’

HYDERABAD: The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India (CAG) has indicted the State Government for extending “unintended and undue benefits to the tune of Rs. 539 crore” to contractors as part of ‘Jalayagnam’ under six projects envisaged on the Godavari.

The CAG report for the financial year 2006-07 was tabled in the Legislative Assembly by the Government on Tuesday.

‘No proper care’

Giving out the highlights of the report at a press conference, Principal Accountant-General (civil audit) of AP S.B. Pillay said that the Government doled out undue benefits to contractors due to incorrect projection of materials required and boosting of unrealistic estimates.

The Government, which prioritised six projects on the river, proposed to complete them in two to five years for providing water to 16.32 lakh acres in Telangana region and drinking water to the habitations en route by lifting 135.68 tmcft of water from the river.

However, the schemes were taken up without proper care in finalising the ayacut, source and availability of assured power supply. Delayed land acquisition and implementation of ‘rehabilitation and resettlement’ package severely hampered the progress of work. As the projects slated for completion before March 2007 were not completed, irrigation facility could not be created for 2.16 lakh acres in Telangana region.

The management of financial resources meant for the SC and ST students also came in for criticism. Hostels were built without assessing the requirement, resulting in either overcrowding or underutilisation.

Basic amenities were not provided in them.

Silver lining

The CAG report said there was no watch by the Director of Medical Education over the release of funds, services provided and drugs supplied to the AP Health and Medical Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (nodal agency) and sub-unit offices. Inspection of teaching hospitals/medical colleges was altogether neglected by the DME.

However, the silver lining for the Government was the positive references to the economic management.

The CAG said that the revenue deficit was eliminated and a surplus of Rs. 2,807 crore was built up.