Mumbai: Faulty survey, non-acquisition of private and forest land, incorrect estimation, mid-course changes in planning of Gosikhurd Project led to its delay and cost escalation to Rs 18,495 crore from Rs 372 crore.
A performance audit of Gosikhurd National Irrigation Project for the period 2012-17 was tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday. The report revealed that the department failed on all fronts to implement and deliver.
Gosikhurd Irrigation Project was approved in March 1983 to create an irrigation potential of 2,50,800 hectares in Bhandara, Nagpur and Chandrapur districts.
The project was planned at a cost of Rs 372 crore and it has escalated to Rs 18,495 crore. The project was declared a ‘National Irrigation Project’ by the Government of India in February 2009.
The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on the project pointed out the flaws in planning, such as faulty survey, non-acquisition of lands, incorrect estimation.
The irrigation potential created (50,317 hectares) was far less than the target (2,50,800 hectares) and the created potential was not utilised fully. However, a performance audit of the project for 2012-17 revealed that the State Water Resources Department failed on all fronts to execute the project, the CAG said.
Even 34 years later, with Rs 9,712.09 crore spent, only 20 per cent of the envisaged irrigation potential could be realized, it said. The departmental supervision was “minimal”, resulting in substandard work, it said.
The CAG noted that the dam water was being polluted due to unregulated release of sewage in the connecting rivers.
The report said that the rehabilitation of affected people was delayed as the civic amenities were not created or were incomplete. The government should chalk out a viable funding plan to complete rest of the work, the report has recommended.
“The government needs to ensure timely acquisition of land. The Water User Associations need to be formed during project construction period, so that completed projects can be handed over to them for regular operation and maintenance,” the report further recommended.
While pointing the flaws in the project the report says, “There was the sub-standard execution of works in many components of the project. Certain works were not executed as per the approved drawings and design. Instances of delayed execution were also noticed owing to non-availability of land, failure to approve drawings and design and to obtain statutory permissions. Estimates were not prepared with due diligence resulting in the execution of extra items or excess quantities,” the report stated.