Unrealistic targets in Mission Kakatiya

Many loopholes, including unrealistic targets, skewed prioritisation and shortfall in intended targets such as silt removal, have been found in the implementation of Mission Kakatiya, one of the flagship programmes of Telangana government, by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in the report for the year ending with March 2017.

As part of its compliance audit, the CAG has gone into implementation of Mission Kakatiya and completion of projects under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) till March-end 2017. The auditing agency has found fault with the government decision to instruct the Chief Engineer of minor irrigation on December 31, 2014 to restore 9,363 tanks as part of phase-one in 2014-15 — within three months.

“The target of covering 20% of 46,531 tanks within three months was unrealistic as the entire gamut of processes from administrative approval to execution was to be completed within three months time,” the report said observing that the delay in completion of phase-one works up to 549 days in respect of 66% of test-checked works, 69 out of 104, had impacted the progress of subsequent phases two and three.

The impact is evident in the fact that only 14% works out of the actual 8,315 tanks taken up were completed in time. Similarly, in phase-three only 25% of the targeted tanks were taken up in time and none of them were as on September 2017. In all the three phases put together, the department could complete only 28% of the tanks targeted till March 2017, the report revealed.

Further, the CAG report stated that there was no evidence on record to show that the field offices had conducted preliminary investigations to assess the quantum of silt to be removed. Although the government had replied in November 2017 that the quantity was assessed out of the experiences of Assistant Executive Engineers/Assistant Engineers, the reply was not acceptable as the guidelines prescribed specific procedure for assessment of silt to be removed from the tanks, the report pointed out. It was found in the test checks conducted on 27 works taken up with a cost of Rs. 11.25 crore that the silt removed was less than the quantum estimated by AEE/AE.

The shortfall was more than 1,000 cubic metres in each case and the average shortfall was 33%, the CAG report said. In all works, 8.08 lakh cubic meters silt was removed as against estimated 12.07 lakh cubic meters.

Pointless exercise

  • Work on tanks taken up where farmers did not show interest in using silt on their farms

  • The purpose of restoring storage capacity was defeated in the absence of proper mechanism to assess the quantum of silt to be removed

  • Mini tank bunds is not a priority in the basic objectives for restoration of tanks

  • Evidence on meeting the gap ayacut of 5.6 lakh acres as claimed by the government not provided to CAG

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