Wrong notification for Okalipuram corridor cost govt

The government okayed the acquisition of 3.4 acres of railway land — instead of the required 3.16 acres — for building the eight-lane Okalipuram flyover. DH FILE PHOT

An erroneous land acquisition notification by the revenue department cost the state government Rs 9.75 crore during a land swap deal with the railways. 

The report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has not only exposed the lapse, but also official apathy in investigating the error and fixing responsibility for the loss caused to the exchequer. 

The government gave administrative approval in February 2011 for the construction of an eight-lane signal-free corridor from the Okalipuram junction to Fountain Circle. The project required 3.16 acres of land belonging to the South Western Railway (SWR), which agreed to transfer the land if the government provided an equal extent of land elsewhere. 

Instead of 3.16 acres, the government approved the acquisition of three acres and 16 guntas (3.4 acres). The erroneous notification led to the acquisition of an additional 0.24 acre, which was also handed over to the SWR. 

Besides the wasteful expenditure of Rs 9.75 acre on the excess land, the government also delayed the payment of Rs 158.24 crore as compensation and eventually released it along with interest to the landowner only in 2014-15. 

While the lapse in the land acquisition process cost it dearly over three years ago, the government is yet to complete an inquiry into the matter. "(The) government, in its interim reply (in December 2017), stated that (the) final reply would be furnished after (an) examination," the CAG report noted. 

Green tax remains unused 

  1. The transport department collected Rs 57.89 crore until 2016-17 as 'green tax', which was introduced to control the vehicular population by discouraging the use of older vehicles. However, the money, as well as the corresponding expenditure, has not been transferred to the public account, the CAG noted. 
  2. As per the rules, funds have to be utilised for the implementation of measures to control vehicular population. In its reply, the finance department stated it will take up the matter with transport officials. 

 

 

 

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Wrong notification for Okalipuram corridor cost govt

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