Despite a massive cost escalation of Rs 26,617 crore,242 irrigation projects taken up in Maharashtra in the last four decades remain incomplete,the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) has claimed.
A CAG report tabled in the state Assembly on Thursday says,At the end of spending Rs 43,270 crore,the ministry of water resources failed to complete 426 irrigation projects. The time overrun was up to 40 years.
The budget for 242 of the 426 projects increased from Rs 7,215 crore to Rs 33,832 crore.
The report adds to the pressure on the Prithviraj Chavan government that has been facing charges of rampant corruption and cost escalations in irrigation projects.
The Chief Minister has set up a special investigation team to probe the charges.
The report on State Finances 2012 highlights how the projects failed to accomplish their stated goal of increasing the irrigation potential of the state.
Listing nine major projects whose budget was above Rs 800 crore,it says,The oldest Kukadi project that began in 1967 was to be completed by 1972. Initial cost of the project was Rs 31 crore,which was subsequently revised to Rs 2,184 crore. Similarly,the cost of Krishna Marathwada Project (2007) was revised from Rs 2,382 crore to Rs 4,845 crore, the report says.
CAG claims that despite the cost escalations,not one of the projects has been completed. The state government gained Rs 80 crore from six major irrigation projects Bagh River,Bhatsa,Itiadoh,Kal River,Pench and Surya during 2011-12,which works out to 11 per cent of the capital outlay of Rs 700 crore.
Taking into account the working and maintenance expense of Rs 20 crore and the Rs 70-crore interest,the projects actually incurred a loss of Rs 10.57 crore in the said period.