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Now, CAG finds flaws with JNNURM execution

NEW DELHI, Nov 29, 2012, DHNS 0:00 IST

Only 253 of the 2,815 projects approved have been completed

Pulling up the Union Government for tardy progress in execution of projects under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the CAG has suggested that the Centre address the deficiencies in monitoring and implementation of urban infrastructure projects.

The CAG in its report on "Performance Audit of JNNURM”, tabled in Parliament on Thursday, said though two-year time was granted to complete each project, of the 2,815 projects approved since inception of the scheme in 2005-06, only 253 projects (8.9 per cent) were completed as on March 31, 2011. The JNNURM is a flagship programme launched by the UPA government in December 2005, aiming to improve urban infrastructure, including transport, drinking water, sewerage, solid waste management and housing for slum dwellers.

The report said that against an allocation of Rs 66,084.66 crore by the Planning Commission, the Central Government made a budgetary allocation of Rs 45,066.23 crore during the Mission period (2005-06 to 2011-12). Against this allocation, only Rs 40,584.21 crore has been released to states till March 31, 2011.

Funds diverted

Diversion of funds of around Rs 115 crore, ineligible beneficiaries getting benefits, showing undue favour to contractors, lack of monitoring of the schemes and delay in release of funds from the Centre to states were among the several lapses detected by the country’s top auditor.

In implementation of urban housing projects for the poor, out of 16.07 lakh dwelling units approved, only 4.18 lakh units (26 per cent) were completed by March 31, 2011. Out of the completed houses, only 2.21 lakh dwelling units were occupied, the report said.

The report pointed out that there were eight cases of diversion of funds in urban infrastructure projects in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh.

Observing that ministries are not equipped in terms of staff and equipment to oversee a scheme of this magnitude, the CAG said mandatory third party inspection to ensure the quality of works has not happened in many places.

While suggesting that the Centre take steps for timely completion of projects, the auditor also asked the government to tighten monitoring to prevent diversion of funds.

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