Of 16 major power, irrigation projects, only five under execution, says CAG

Of the 16 major irrigation and power projects approved by the Centre, only five are under execution after a decade, and slow physical progress of those led to an overall cost escalation by 2,341 per cent, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has said.

In February 2008, the Cabinet had approved a select group of irrigation projects with well-defined deliverables. The five projects that are under execution are Gosirkund project, Teetsa, Saryu, Indira Sagar Poolavaram project, Shahpur-Kandi project.

“The fundamental remained unachieved even after almost a decade of existence of the scheme with only five projects being under actual implementation. A total expenditure of Rs 13,299.12 crore had been incurred on these five projects as of March 2017,” the report said.

Despite this, none of the five projects is near completion and the anticipated benefits in terms of creation of irrigation potential and augmentation of water and power generation were yet to accrue, the report observed.

“The shortfall in terms of physical progress in different components of the projects ranged from eight to 99 percent in the five projects under implementation along with an overall cost escalation of 2,341 percent that threatened the economic viability of the projects,” the report said.

The CAG attributed the “tardy implementation” to management failures and deficiencies in terms of non-adherence to codal provisions relating to survey and investigation that are an essential ingredient for preparation of detailed project reports, ensuring statutory clearance for the project sites and administrative delays in land acquisition.

The other projects which are yet to see the implementation stage include: Lakhwar project, Renuka Dam project, Kishau project, Ujh project, Ken Betwa project, Kulsi Dam project, Noah Dihing project, Bursar project, 2nd Ravi project, Upper Siang project.