CAG Slams Andhra Govt For Irregularities In Pattiseema Irrigation ProjectApril 01, 2017 11:47
The Comptroller and General (CAG), of India, has elevated serious questions, and found flaws with the way, the Andhra Pradesh (AP) Government has executed a key irrigation project.
The CAG, has found irregularities in the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme (PLIS) project, and criticized the AP Government, for its improper planning of the programme.
A series of CAG reports on its audit findings for the year ended, March 2016, was submitted in the Legislative Assembly today.
Earlier, last week, the Pattiseema Irrigation project, has got a national recognition, by entering, into Limca Book of Records.
The irrigation project, interlinked the Krishna and Godavari Rivers, in Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district.
It was further declared the first and the fast irrigation project, to be completed, without any budget enhancements.
The CAG, referred the project as a huge waste of public money, and that the cost of the project, outweighed its benefits.
An additional unavoidable burden, of Rs 199 crore, resulted due to the in-completion of Polavaram right main canal and its distributary system.
The audit, also noticed avoidable extra expenditure, of Rs 138.18 crore, due to unwarranted changes in construction patterns. The CAG further, said in its report, that an undue benefit of Rs 14.22 crore to the contractor in PLIS, occurred due to incorrect reimbursement of Labor Welfare Cess.
However, this reimbursement, was not required in the agreement.
The CAG also said, that the Government, before the completion of the project, did not even identify the beneficiaries.
Only around 11 of the 24 pumps of PLIS were operated during the flood in July-September 2016, due to the lack of the canal system.
The auditor stated, the targeted objectives could not be achieved, due to improper planning, despite completion of the scheme.
The project is intended to meet the drinking water and irrigation needs of drought-prone Rayalaseema region in the state.
In the detailed project report, the life of the project was expected to be 20 years. However, the project is regarded to run only till the completion of the Polavaram project in 2019.
The CAG noted, that, thus, the life of PLIS would be only three years.
The AP State had said that, around 3000 thousand million cubic feet (TMCft), every year, of Godavari water flows away into the Bay of Bengal.
The state's idea was to divert the excess Godavari water into the Krishna basin and eventually into Rayalaseema.
The PLIS was proposed to pull up water from Godavari's right bank, near the Pattisam village, and drop it into the Polavaram project's right canal.
The project was designed to draw 120 tmcft water from Godavari and release it into the Krishna.
While inviting bids in March 2015, the government estimated the cost of PLIS at Rs 1170.25 crore. Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited, secured the contract for Rs 1427.70 crore, which was 21.9991% excess over the estimated value.
After the award of the contract, the revised estimate, was increased to over Rs 1,600 crore.