Loopholes found in rural electrification scheme

Finding several loopholes in implementation of the rural electrification programme, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on Tuesday observed that delay in awarding projects resulted in a cost escalation to the tune of Rs 696 crore.

The CAG in its performance audit of the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) found that nearly Rs 158 crore fund meant for the scheme was diverted, while 29 projects worth Rs 548 crore were awarded to ineligible contractors. The report, which was tabled in Parliament, also said that before implementing the scheme, the Ministry of Power did not conduct feasibility study, despite recommendations from the Standing Committee on Energy that updated statistic should be obtained on rural electrification.

“Inadequacies in identification and estimation of un-electrified villages and BPL beneficiaries at the planning stage had the impact of variations in cost estimates to the extent of Rs 2,262 crore”, the CAG said in its report.

The RGGVY was one of UPA’s flagship programmes implemented in 2005 to provide uninterrupted electricity to rural households. The report was prepared by the CAG for the period 2004-05 to 2011-12.

“In 425 out of 576 projects, the time taken to award the project was more than three months,” the report said.

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