Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has criticised the Akhilesh Yadav government for financial mismanagement during last year’s Mahakumbh Mela in Allahabad stating that state government ended up spending only one per cent of the entire expenditure of the mela instead of 70 per cent that it was supposed to.
The fact came to fore in the annual report of CAG for Enterprises in non public sector and Mahakumbh-2013, which was tabled by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Khan in the state Assembly Tuesday.
In the report on non public sector, the CAG has reviewed the construction of memorials and Yamuna Expressway during the previous BSP regime.
As per the report, state government spent only one per cent of its share of the total estimate for Mahakumbh mela, which was Rs 1,214.37 crore. The Centre had to pay 30 per cent of the estimate while state’s share was remaining 70 per cent. According to the report, the Centre released Rs 1141.63 crore, which included its 30 per cent share and an additional aid of Rs 800 crore. Eventually, state government’s share was reduced to only one per cent, which was Rs 10.57 crore.
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For the Yamuna Expressway, CAG said the road had to pass through undeveloped areas and the developer was to be provided land on his request, selection and availability. The report mentions that government did not identify the land parcels, which were to be given on concession before tendering. Due to this, land at prime location was transferred at concessional rate. CAG report also states that allotment of Rs 498.93 hectare of land adjoining Expressway was wrong.
The report mentions that certain clauses in the tenders were not clear, which gave the developer an advantage. The government also did not show due diligence in relinquishing the share of Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) and without analysis accepted the Detailed Project Reprot (DPR) and the project was handed over to Jaiprakash Industries Limited (JIL) “which was like giving undue favour to the developer”
CAG report mentions that if YEIDA had 25 per cent stake, then till March 31, 2013 it would have generated a revenue of Rs 872.94 crore from land development and toll revenue.
Though the agreement was signed in 2003, the developer presented the Technical and Economical Feasibility Report (TEFR) in November 2006, which should have been done within two years. CAG also raised a finger over high toll rate on the Expressway and rebate on stamp duty amounting to Rs 9.98 crore.
The CAG also took up the review of four memorials constructed during BSP regime. The memorials are Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal, Manyavar Kanshiram Ji Smarak Sthal, Baudh Vihar Shanti Upvan and Eco Park and Manyavar Kanshiram Ji Green Eco Garden in Lucknow and Rashtriya Dalit Prerna Sthal and Green Garden in Noida. The working agency — UP Rajkiya Nirman Nigam — was allocated Rs 4,558.01 crore, which is 98.62 per cent of the total funds.
Major observations by the CAG include very high increase of total cost from initial Rs 943.73 crore to Rs 4558.01 crore, which is between 192 to 956 per cent. The working agency failed to deduct Rs 3.64 crore on VAT. CAG also reported that no competitive bidding was done for architecture and detailed advisory. The project was also not uniform and hence new additional work of Rs 3,537.68 crore was added up while another Rs 29.62 crore was spent on demolition and frequent changes in the design.
The working agency failed to procure material on competitive basis and ended up spending Rs 397.90 crore and another Rs 18.41 crore for over-valuation. Different sizes of Mirzapur sandstone were purchased resulting in excess expenditure of Rs 16.11 crore. The work on these projects had started before obtaining no objection certificate and environment clearance.
In its report on Mahakumbh-2013, CAG has raised fingers over the poor financial management of state government. As per the report, the state prepared an estimate of Rs 1848.85 crore and submitted it to Centre for approval in May 2010. After the valuation by Central Planning Commission, Rs 1,318.91 was approved on sharing basis of 30:70 (Centre:State). The state government, however, could submit proposals for only Rs 1214.37 crore. The Centre released its share as Rs 341.63 crore while rest had to be given by state government.
Later, Centre released additional grant of Rs 800 crore within two days for other development works as per the demand of state government. So the total share of Centre was Rs 1141.63 crore. Till after three months of Mahakumbh, the state spent Rs 1017.37 crore, or 88 per cent of the fund.
State government, against the instructions of Centre, utilised Rs 800 crore for reimbursement of the work done earlier by it on the Mahakumbh.