NH widening: AG’s report says Calicut varsity lost over ₹100 crore

The Accountant General has found that the University of Calicut incurred a loss of over ₹100 crore by not claiming compensation for its land acquired for widening National Highway-17 and the restoration of its water pipelines.

A report submitted by the AG on April 18 said that 5.87 hectares (ha) of land belonging to the university were acquired by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), of which 0.108 ha was in Moonniyoor, 2.84 ha in Pallikkal, 2.88 ha in Tenhipalam, and 0.04 ha in Chelembra. A sum of ₹97 crore was deposited by the NHAI with the government as compensation.

The report pointed out, quoting the Calicut University Act, that the institution has the powers to control the land given to it by the government. Hence, the university could have received the compensation amount in its account, instead of it being credited to the treasury. “Failure on the part of the university to initiate effective action for obtaining the eligible amount in time, which was transferred to the treasury or the competent authority, resulted in a loss of ₹97 crore,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the amount for shifting pipelines of the university water supply system, which were to be dismantled for widening the NH-17, was not included in the detailed project report (DPR) prepared by the project director, NHAI, Kozhikode. According to a circular by the Ministry, shifting of exclusive lines is the responsibility of the institution, if compensation was paid. An amount of ₹19.3 crore was required for the restoration work according to an estimate prepared by the Superintendent Engineer, Kerala Water Authority, Kozhikode. “Neither the compensation was received by the university nor the amount was included in the DPR. The university would incur an extra liability of ₹19.3 crore,” the report noted.

The university, however, has replied that a letter has been sent to the Deputy Collector informing that the compensation for the acquired land may be paid to it. The Additional Chief Secretary, Higher Education, has also been requested to intervene in the matter for getting administrative sanction from the government.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2022 3:23:04 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/nh-widening-ags-report-says-calicut-varsity-lost-over-100-crore/article65416892.ece