Hyderabad: While appreciating Mission Kakatiya as a commendable project with the potential to transform the lives of small and marginal farmers, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has commented that the targets were ambitious and while speeding up the work critical aspects of planning, prioritisation and execution were compromised.
The CAG said 41.71 per cent of the cost of the work taken up in Mission Kakatiya was in non-priority areas of which 23 per cent comprised tanks which had been covered in earlier schemes.
The CAG said desilting was scaled down by 50 per cent and more, raising doubts on the sustainability of the restoration work. It said in another 32 works, excess desilting carried the potential of affecting the impermeable layer of the tank.
Water measuring devices, which could have provided data to measure the impact of Mission Kakatiya, were not installed, the CAG said.
The CAG said in order for optimum use of water at medium irrigation tanks, measuring devices were to be provided at the off-take points. It found that in the devices were installed in none of the selected divisions. As a result recording of volume of water and stipulated time of water releases were not available.
For this, the state government replied that the devices were not necessary as awareness had been created among farmers and they had come forward for regulation of water.
Disagreeing with the government’s contention, the CAG said that in the absence of measurement of water, which was critical for effective water management, it could not be assured that the water releases were sufficient to serve the gap ayacut and thus could affect the overall effectiveness of Mission Kakatiya.
CAG: Labour cess misapplied
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said that Mission Kakatiya was to include 1 per cent labour cess in the estimates only for works which continue for or beyond 12 months.
The CAG observed that this provision was included even where the contract periods ranged from three to nine months, and the money was to be recovered from contractors. This unwarranted provision resulted in an avoidable charge, which worked out to Rs 96.49 lakh in the test-checked tank works costing Rs 96.49 crore.
The CAG said that of the total expenditure of Rs 2,474.48 crore, this worked out to Rs 24.74 crore. This money could have been used elsewhere, the CAG said.
Regarding quality issues, the CAG said the work relating to strengthening of bunds under Mission Kakatiya was required to be compacted to 98 per cent of proctor’s density, a measure of how densely packed the soil is.
The guidelines stipulated compaction with an 8-10 tonne power roller. It was observed in test-checked works 2-tonne rollers had been allowed with the specification of 90 per cent proctor’s density, the CAG said.
The government replied that the consolidation was done with 8-10 tonne roller but the payment was for use of a 2-tonne roller. What was carried out was maintenance work where a two-tonne roller was enough. CAG said allowing works to be executed with lower specification adversely impact quality of the work....