PAC wants State to complete pending irrigation projects

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Jul 2018 09:49:02


 

Staff Reporter,

PAC flays State Govt for poor allocation to Water Resources Department in the budget

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has recommended State Government to complete pending irrigation projects from current resources and avoid new projects as per the directives of Governor. Tabling its 2015-16 report in Legislative Assembly, Gopal Agrawal, Chairman, PAC, on Tuesday further said that Government should raise fresh resources if needed and formulate a plan to complete all incomplete projects.


PAC censured State Government for poor allocation to Water Resources Department in the State's budget. It noted that as against requirement of Rs. 5030 crores, State allocated only Rs. 805 crores which led to cancellation of 2330 irrigation projects. The Committee directed that WRD should not take fresh projects without proper planning.


It also asked WRD to go for five-year plans and district development plan while planning in future and should earmark funds to it accordingly. Till September 2017 end, from 187 projects about 44 are completed while 122 works are on while in 16 project no work has started yet. Four of the irrigation projects have been scrapped and even then department proposed 45 new projects at cost of Rs. 298.91 crores. Because of priority given to new projects, it affected the progress of ongoing 91 schemes.


PAC also stated that works quality in majority of minor irrigation projects was of questionable nature as observed that there was no supervision on contractors. Owing to poor construction work, the water starter seeping in newly built canals thereby wasting public money. Therefore, Agrawal said action should be taken against officers responsible for laxity and contractors must be told to carry out repairs on their cost


Agriculture: On the issue of anewari also, PAC has told State Government to consider having separate anewari system for different crops and while assessing it Gram Panchayat should be considered as one unit instead of Tehsil. State Government should implement crop insurance scheme as approved by Centre.


In another important directive, PAC said the assessment of anewari should be preferably done by one department. Currently, Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation and Agriculture Department separately carry out surveys and panchanamas and then anewari is calculated which is time
consuming.


Since farmers put in all their energies in cultivating crops, in case of natural calamities the damage to standing crop is disheartening. Hence PAC has asked Government to ensure that farmers should be suitable compensated from crop insurance scheme.


Soil Laboratories Failed: It also noted that Rs. 2.80 crores public money was wasted as eight mobile soil testing laboratories had several shortcomings and hence of no use to farmers. PAC recommended audit of the scheme and examination of figures from Accountant General. Similarly while undertaking projects under Human Development Mission the process of sanctions must be examined and responsibilities be fixed on individuals to achieve best results.


PWD: About PWD, the committee observed that there was over spending on fuel to tune of Rs. 164.06 lakh though there was a cap of 2000 litre per vehicle/year. The Department failed to judiciously use the money as it could have put GPS on vehicle and monitored and should have put the data on-line. Hence PAC has asked fixing of responsibility on employees/officers and GPS be fitted on all PWD vehicles.