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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

CIDCO spent 30% more on infra projects during Fadnavis govt: CAG

Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar on Wednesday tabled the report in the state Legislative Assembly.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: March 4, 2020 9:57:23 pm
CIDCO spent 30% more on infra projects during Fadnavis govt: CAG Devendra Fadnavis. (File Photo)

The mega-infrastructure projects undertaken by CIDCO during the Devendra Fadnavis government between 2014 and 2018 have led to a 30 per cent increase in expenditure from Rs 706.04 crore to Rs 920.10 crore, according to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report 2018.

Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar on Wednesday tabled the report in the state Legislative Assembly.

Three major projects undertaken by CIDCO, which were audited, are the Navi Mumbai Metro Rail (NMMR), Nerul-Uran Railway (NUR) and Mass Housing Scheme (MHS) at Khargar.

The CAG report states, “CIDCO was incorporated to undertake development works and provide social and physical infrastructure, mainly in Navi Mumbai and adjoining areas. There was approximately 30 per cent increase in expenditure incurred on infrastructure works from Rs 706.04 crore (2013-14) to Rs 920.10 crore (2017-18) and was approximately 61 per cent against the budget.”

All 19 contracts/works relating to the three projects were audited. Further, out of 95 other infrastructure contracts having a total contract value of Rs 3,485 crore awarded by CIDCO, 47 contracts of Rs 3,200 crore were selected on stratified sampling.

According to CAG, “The infrastructure works carried out by CIDCO did not emerge out of a systematic and comprehensive plan. CIDCO did not prepare any long, medium or short-term plans for the infrastructure works with the result that the proposals for infrastructure works were sanctioned on a case-to-case basis.”

It pointed out that CIDCO did not take adequate steps at planning stage itself to synchronise various works so as to avoid delays in commencement and completion of projects and works. Wide publicity was not given to the tenders and there was lack of transparency in award of works. Further, additional works of significant contract value were awarded to the existing contractors without inviting fresh tenders, the report said.

CIDCO has not implemented IT-based monitoring system for engineering works and projects, which would have facilitated the management to receive real time project-related information to enable them take timely and appropriate action on critical issues, it stated.

In case of the Nerul-Uran railway project, with length of 23 km approved at Rs 402 crore in 1996, the cost was to be shared in ratio of 67:33 between CIDCO and railways. In 2013 the cost was revised to Rs 1,814 crore. The completion of phase I from Seawoods/Belapur to Kharkopar station was December 2015 and phase II from Kharkopar to Uran was June 2017. However, CIDCO admitted delay in appointment of consultant. The expenditure incurred on the project till August 2019 was Rs 1,282 crore against the overall cost of Rs 1,814 crore. Moreover, station works for phase II were not taken up.

In the Navi Mumbai Metro rail project, the Belapur-Pendhar line (11.10 km) was scheduled for completion in 2013 at a cost of Rs 1,694 crore. The cost was revised (August 2017) to Rs 3,064 crore and the project scheduled for completion in May 2019. The expenditure incurred on the project till August 2019 was Rs 1,759 crore on partly completed facilities, the report states.

CAG took serious objection to CIDCO’s revised policy of issuing tenders in 2016. Almost 16 tenders with estimated cost of Rs 50 crore and above advertisements were not released in English and vernacular papers. Global tenders for projects like NMMR and NMIA were not published in international publications. Works worth Rs 1,581 crore were awarded without sufficient competition, it said.

Under the Mass Housing Scheme at Khargar, as against 4,814 saleable tenements in two housing schemes, allotment letters were issued to 3,733 applications and possession was handed over to 3,317 applicants. Even after four years (2014-2018) from draw of lots, 1,081 tenements remained unsold. Out of 216 commercial premises, 199 premises are unsold, it said.

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