CAG picks holes in Karnataka govt expenditure

Fraudulent payments cause loss of crores of rupees

CAG picks holes in Karnataka govt expenditure

The CAG report for the year ending 2010 tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Monday, has revealed that the lapses on the part of Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Board (KUWSSB), Water Resources department, Higher Education department, Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board and other agencies directly benefited contractors, who raked in huge profits.

The KUWSSB illegally passed on the benefit of central excise duty exemption of Rs 6.30 crore to two contractors by irregularly arranging exemption certificates under a project to provide water supply to four towns of Sandur, Gurumitkal, Aminabhavi and Nrupathunga Betta.

In another instance, the KUWSSB has taken up water supply project to Kolar, Bangarpet and Malur towns at the cost of Rs 239.13 crore though the water availability was doubtful.

“The KUWSSB has already spent Rs 75.21 crore on this technically non-feasible scheme,” the report stated.

The BDA made excess payment of Rs 1.64 crore to a construction company by disregarding the contractual provisions and selecting different schedules of rates for different items of work. Similarly, the BDA made excess payment of Rs 2.66 crore to another company by preparing a faulty estimate.

An Executive Engineer in Yermarus in the Water Resources department made suspected fraudulent payment of Rs 2.98 crore to contractors for maintaining canals by producing fictitious bills, the CAG report said. The infamous KHB land scam wherein former Housing Minister S N Krishnaiah Setty was allegedly involved has also found a mention in the CAG report.

“The KHB embarked on land acquisition without conducting any demand survey or feasibility study. The Board also overlooked other controls, showed undue haste in purchasing 30.31 acres land from two persons at a huge cost of Rs 50 lakh per acre. The utility of the lands purchased in bits and pieces at the total cost of Rs 16.85 crore was doubtful,” the reported stated.

Visveswaraiah Technological University (VTU) too has incurred wasteful expenditure of Rs 2.10 crore by installing on-line learning platform, which was never utilised by the students, and on campus automation software, which was dysfunctional from the day one, the CAG said in its report.

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